Bat Movies Part 1: Batman & Batman Returns

Let's stop here, this is Bat Movies: a five part article series exploring the films and cultural impact of Bruce Wayne and his night moves as justice-dispensing vigilante. In this first installment: Tim Burton's Batman and Batman Returns.


Say it's 1987. The Superman franchise has properly imploded. It will be another decade before we get a decent Marvel movie. Yet, there's no keeping down the superhero! Once The Dark Knight Returns and The Killing Joke redefined Batman for a new age, Warner Bros opted to pursue a film adaptation with a similarity gloomy tack in mind. Tim Burton was hired to direct, Michael Keaton cast, Gotham built as a gnarled landscape of rising steam, crime, and nightmares.

Of all the Batman movies, this is the one most at war with itself: The architecture clashes and Gotham's citizens are killing each other, going all the way down to a millionaire loner who can't reconcile what it means to have seen his parents gunned down before him. Burton himself is ambivalent, once quoted dismissing Batman as more of a cultural phenomenon than a functional movie. Burton is always more interested in villains than heroes and, in this case, you can't blame him: Batman has far and away the best villains in comics lore. As The Joker, Jack Nicholson's performance remains deliriously unhinged. In Nicholson, and in Heath Ledger's portrayal, one can witness the necessary commitment to the character's paranoia and mania.

Fans were understandably miffed by two things: that Jack Napier/Joker, not Joe Chill, is revealed as killer of the Wayne couple, and that late in the movie Alfred has the audacity to invite Vicki Vale (love interest played by Kim Basinger) into the Batcave. I find these forgivable: Burton and Keaton weren't contracted to do a sequel and so focused on putting all they had into one movie. Flesh out Napier as the parents' killer and allow Vale into the Batcave to boost the romantic tension and all of a sudden you have a very full-bodied drama. It's refreshing to watch a superhero movie that actually feels like a complete movie and not a starter kit to an insta-franchise.

Here's an aside: I was very young when the movie came out so was only vaguely aware Something Big was happening. However, the NES video game, which came out a few months after the movie, was introduced into my homestead. The Batman game is known for both its brutal difficulty and fidelity to Burton's aesthetic. Cut scenes are lifted from the movie, along with the film's dark palette. The years I spent trying to conquer it was enough to maintain my interest in the character even when there were movies were coming out I wasn't allowed to go watch. Batman, the video game, prompted me to start reading Batman, the comic books, and Batman, the fantastic animated series. In that regard, Burton is correct: The film was truly a cultural phenomenon: blockbusters had ceased becoming just another type of movie and, for better or worse, became monoliths upon which empires of media are borne.


If Batman didn't figure too heavily in his own movie (and that's fine, the best Bat stories feature byzantine casts and stories), he's virtually a supporting character in 1992's Batman Returns. Directors tend to show off their true sides in Batman sequels. Here, the film's set design is unified to Burton's liking (loads of arches and spirals), the violence is purely comic, and all the characters depicted with a sort of tender horror.

Batman Returns is a pretty terrible vehicle for Batman but it's great for Burton. The first one is far more entertaining but the characterizations are weak, especially Vicki Vale (I wondered if she spent that much time screaming and fainting while covering the Corto Maltese). This probably irked Burton, who usually takes care to unearth the humanity in inhuman lands. Thus, Returns depicts Catwoman, The Penguin, and even Batman as utterly bizarre characters who wish to find their place in Gotham. Michelle Pfeifer was fantastic as Selina Kyle/Catwoman, striking a comfortable balance between sad and sultry. Danny DeVito: also fine, but Burton relished the gross-out makeup a bit too much, and Penguin's subplots of running for mayor and then kidnapping firstborns I felt were both half-baked.

Upon release, the film was criticized for being darker than its predecessor. Burton refutes this assertion and again I'm going to agree with him. Seeing the electrofried face of Max Schrek (Christopher Walken) at the end of the movie was played for shock and laughs, in what Roger Ebert once defined as the cinematic equivalent of your older brother putting worms up to your face. In Batman, when The Joker is prancing around and holding conversation with a realistically charred board executive, that's dark.

I'm fascinated at how distinct the Batman movies are to each other, the way a predecessor directly influences on what and what not to do in the next installment. The heightened Burtoness and lowered box office of Batman Returns caused Warner Bros. to initiate a more family-friendly outing for sequel. And, well, we all know where that road's gonna take us. See you tomorrow, same Bat channel.

Comments

Mike Christensen

Mike Christensen

First one was damn good...still entertaining. But Batman Returns was a major disappointment. Burton just couldn't help himself.

Jul 17 - 04:07 PM

David Busby

David Busby

First one was good the second was ok. i noticed that some ppl didn't like batman returns. that film wasn't burtons fault WB wanted him to tone it down. they thought the first one was to violent and wasn't suitable for children.

Jul 17 - 07:39 PM

١r­ur Bj÷rnsson

١r­ur Bj÷rnsson

I'm sorry, tone it down? Have you watched Batman Returns? It's probably the darkest Batman film to date after The Dark Knight.

If the competition was for who's the darkest picture and the competitors were Batman Returns & Batman, Batman Returns would kick Batman's ass.

Jul 17 - 09:41 PM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

Batman Returns is darker than the first one but also feels cheesier than the original one at the same time.

Jul 18 - 08:11 AM

Ryan N.

Ryan Nolan

Returns was definitely the darker and more violent film. Neither were great but both were entertaining enough.

Jul 17 - 10:12 PM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

Batman was Over-Hyped (it was the largest advertising campaign ever) and was not entertaining in the least and Batman Returns was an ugly film (SAGE STALLONE Remembrance . . . remember him when you watch any GRINDHOUSE MOVIE . . . especially CANNIBAL FEROX and THE BEYOND--I can't believe he's gone but untimely death happens)

Jul 19 - 07:50 AM

King  S.

King Simba

With Batman Returns, I think a lot depends on how much of a Tim Burton fan you are, as it really is more of a Burton film than a Batman film. Personally, I always feel Burton is best when he doesn't hold back of his style, which is why I loved Batman Returns more than Batman. Infact, it was easily my favorite Batman movie before a guy named Nolan came around....

Jul 18 - 12:13 AM

Jon Hatchell

Jon Hatchell

Yeah, he "couldn't help himself" from making a sequel superior in every way to the original.

Jul 18 - 03:10 PM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

"THIS TOWN NEEDS AN ENEMA" . . . during the Batman promotional campaign, the radio played Prince's Batman theme song 20 times a day minimum. UGH! (SAGE STALLONE . . . we will never forget you: "FULCI LIVES"!!! CHAS. BALUN!!!! BLACKEST HEART MEDIA!!!!

Jul 19 - 07:52 AM

THGhost

THGhost .

Returns is the far more superior film. Darker and more brooding; perfect.

Jul 19 - 04:53 PM

dj Mark

Mark Marquis

You are correct, Joshua. The mood is more bleak. The villains more twisted and tragic, the architecture of Gotham more imposing. However, it features a plot to blow up the city with bombs strapped to penguins and a proximity radar that quacks. Having said that, Returns had much more of an impact on me than Batman, mainly because I felt the depiction of Catwoman and Penguin were perfectly in line with the kind of fantasy elements I like in the Batman universe. Having seen Nolan's Bat Trilogy do such a good job of grounding that universe in our world, I now am longing for someone to come along and create something that lies between the imaginations of Tim Burton and Chris Nolan.

Jul 25 - 01:39 PM

I fight for the users

Ian Fastert

I don't know.... I like them both.....

Jul 17 - 04:14 PM

Geeskater

Jamie Rogers

I like them both a lot, but i find that Returns is just Burton taking over almost completely and leaving more crazy characters and settings, rather that plot progression, but it still is a great film, while Batman is all around great because with Joker in the hands of Burton, it's brilliant, because he knows just what to do to make the Joker creepy and crazy, and Jack Nicholson is just fantastic, not to say Michelle Pfeiffer and Danny Devito weren't, but Nicholson beat them out of the competition.

Jul 17 - 04:39 PM

dj Mark

Mark Marquis

Nicholson's Joker is iconic, no doubt. But hasn't Jack Nicholson sort of always been The Joker if you know what I mean? His portrayal of that character was just Jack being Jack, only turned up to 10. Pfeiffer and Devito actually disappeared into their characters.

Jul 25 - 01:45 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Respect the rhubarb!

Jul 17 - 04:39 PM

Stepping Razor

Stepping Razor

... and never rub it either!

Jul 17 - 05:13 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

There'll be a hot time in the old town tonight!

Jul 17 - 05:35 PM

Joshua Wilburn

Joshua Wilburn

I respect these films the same way I respect Sam Raimi's Spiderman films. I have a version I like better but these were the films that set the bar and can still be enjoyed to this day. I respect Burton's Batman. that's more then I can say for anything he's come out with recently.

Jul 17 - 04:41 PM

Freeman Montaque

Freeman Montaque

Amen. Alice in Wonderland? Dark Shadows? Hopefully, Frankenweenie is a return to form.

Jul 17 - 10:21 PM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

Agreed. Also nice name. ;)

Jul 18 - 11:07 AM

Paulo Barreto

Paulo Barreto

You just put into words what I was thinking

Jul 19 - 08:47 AM

The Reaper

Iron Will

"Batman has far and away the best villains in comics lore"

Hyperbole I don't agree with. Spider-Man does.

Jul 17 - 05:12 PM

Justin D.

Justin D.

Really? Spider-Man's villains are memorable sure, but they are also some of the cheesiest villains in comic book lore. More than half of them dress like animals (and a couple of them actually turn into animals). I'm not saying that Batman doesn't have campy bad guys but there's a level of madness to them that makes them more menacing. I mean let's be honest, which of these two villains would you be more likely to laugh at if you found yourself face to face with one of them; Deadshot, a super skilled marksman/assassin, or the Vulture, a geriatric in a bird costume?

Jul 17 - 05:24 PM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

Venom, Carnage, Electro, Mysterio and Green Goblin alone makes Spidey's rogues gallery's awesome without mentioning the others. Vulture was a unfair comparision.

Jul 17 - 05:36 PM

Justin D.

Justin D.

I'll give you Green Goblin and Venom, but Mysterio? The man has a fishbowl on his head. And Carnage is one of the most overrated characters in the Spider-Man mythos (oh look, a red Venom, how edgy and original). In fact, that parenthetical brings me to another point about Spider-Man; he has too many copycat villains. Green Goblin/Hobgoblin, Venom/Carnage, Sandman/Hydro Man, Kraven the Hunter/the Grim Hunter... the list could go on. As I said, Spider-Man has some memorable villains but they're mostly corny ones. Meanwhile Batman's rogues gallery consists mostly of villains that are both memorable and terrifying. Now don't get me wrong, I love Spider-Man and his mythos, but let's call a spade a spade.

Jul 17 - 05:52 PM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

Justin D. I don't know about you but I think Mysterio's look is iconic when it comes to a comic book character look. Like Doctor Doom's look it works more for comic books than movies etc. Mysterio's power is also very very imaginitive. It opens a lot of possibilities.

Jul 17 - 06:32 PM

Kyle VanderHeyden

Kyle VanderHeyden

Mysterio may have a stupid costume, but mos mysterio stories are highly entertaining; convincing spider-man he is six inches tall, turning the highschool he works in a haunted house deathtrap, etc. i'll agree batvillians are better, but A) spidey's rougues gallery is the runner up B)don't knock mysterio

Jul 17 - 06:34 PM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

I like both rogue gallery's just about the same. Batman's better in the psychological department but is lacking on being creative on the power department like Spidey's. One thing I am upset though is that the creators never think of good newer villains of Spider-Man unlike Batman's.

Jul 17 - 06:41 PM

Justin D.

Justin D.

After that list of dopplegangers I just listed you think Batman's villains lack originality? (In fact I think Spider-Man has a villain named Doppleganger.) I don't think there's one Batman villain that comes across as a retread of another Batman villain (with the exception of maybe Black Mask and Two-Face...and The Riddler and Cluemaster). The Joker, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, Clayface, Ra's al Ghul, Killer Croc, Bane, The Ventriloquist/Scarface, Mr. Zsasz... all of them different and all of them unique, and many of them disturbing when you delve into their back stories.

Jul 17 - 07:24 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I got an idea. Go screw your Spiderman toys because this page is supposed to be about Batman '89.

Jul 17 - 07:50 PM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

I didn't say Batman villains lack originality. I said they lack originality on the powers department. You know superpowers. Geez. @Janson J. That was rude and uncalled for.I sure don't own any Spider-Man toys.

Jul 18 - 05:56 AM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

@Janson J. You're idea is stupid. We can talk about any superhero we want. Freedom of speech dude. Freedom of speech. If you don't have a problem with that than go fap while reading your Batman comics or watching his movies. You should definitely be too old for toys.

Jul 18 - 07:02 AM

rle4lunch

Chad W

Jansons comment might've been rude, but it still made me chuckle. Why do people take words (especially internet words) so seriously? This thread needs an ENEMA!

sorry, had to throw that in.

Jul 18 - 07:31 AM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

Not that funny IMO. Probably because it's directed to me not to you. I should probably avoid fighting fire with fire though. That makes a difference. But yeah I loved the Jack Nicholson Joker reference. ;)

Jul 18 - 07:46 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

"I got badda fish to fry"

Jul 18 - 10:06 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

That was a Shreck quote, genius.

Jul 18 - 11:38 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Nope. "Shreck", as in the Christopher Walken character. You really should have some understanding of the films that this page was intended to be the topic of discussion here rather than inserting your Marvel Villains.

Jul 18 - 11:59 AM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

I don't need you to tell me what I need to know or not to know. I watched the movies but I am not nerdy enough to know what each characters and actors are in all of the movies. Definitely when I have seen a lot of movies. Nor do I need to. There's more constructive things to learn about and you know what else is not constructive. You bashing me all the time.

Jul 18 - 12:04 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Wow. Did you actually delete your lame guess? Sensitivity indeed.

Jul 18 - 12:23 PM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

Yeah I did. You are talking to yourself now. I don't give a damn about you're quote and where it came from. It wasn't worth replying to. ;)

Jul 18 - 12:33 PM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

But I don't see how that makes me sensitive. I fully admit I don't remember that quote and I am not ashamed of it. It only sounds familiar and I assumed you were doing a Joker quote because the other guy did. It would have made a lot more sense.

Jul 18 - 12:40 PM

rle4lunch

Chad W

Another nerdy fact is that the Max Schreck character was in homage to the real Max Schreck; a German actor who played the first Nosferatu on the silver screen.

Jul 19 - 02:08 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I'm not sure if Spiderman's villains, collected together, could make as great a graphic novel as Arkham Asylum.

Jul 17 - 05:33 PM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

Sinister Six? Also IMO the greatest medium that ever compiled the villains story progressions is the tv series, The Spectacular Spider-Man. Even then the show didn't manage to bring all of them to life due to cancellation.

Jul 17 - 05:42 PM

Caddy Cadogan

Caddy Cadogan

Sinister 6 doesn't come close to Arkham Asylum, that book is utterly terrifying and unravels everything about Batman.

Jul 17 - 07:10 PM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

Well the sinister six isn't really one comic book but a gathering in a multiple of comic books. But yeah let's not talk about Spider-Man anymore.

Jul 18 - 05:59 AM

Jason C Wilkerson

Jason Wilkerson

The biggest problem with trying to compare Batman and Spiderman's rogues galleries is the fact that Spiderman's rogues gallery wasn't always just his enemies. A lot of them also made their way into other Marvel publications. With very few exceptions Batman's rogues gallery is his own.

Jul 17 - 09:30 PM

Theodore Trout

Theodore Trout

I agree. Spidey should get it just for the Kingpin - oh right he's become a DD villain .

Jul 17 - 10:06 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Joker drinks Kingpin's milkshake.

Jul 17 - 10:27 PM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

Darth Vader drinks everybody's milkshakes. Including the Joker's. Venom really is the only Spider-Man villain that can rival Joker's popularity although I wish it was Norman Osborn.

Jul 18 - 06:13 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Oh, yeah, well Unicron, eats planets, duh. Grow up.

Jul 18 - 10:12 AM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

Fail of a reply. That didn't make any sense. Your description sounds more like Galactus but I am not a Transformers nerd so what do I know. You telling me to grow up when you reply with "Oh yeah well" is really ironic. I read your comment in a 5 year olds arguementive voice. Honestly can't we get along or are you just going to sound like a dumbass the whole time you reply to me.

Jul 18 - 10:44 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I was making fun of your childishness in trying to insert the irrelevent Darth Vador into the equation. You should read my comment as sounding like a child, because I'm mirroring how you sound.

Jul 18 - 11:42 AM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

I felt the same way about you're Joker vs. Kingpin comparision. You started it.

Jul 18 - 11:52 AM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

It sounded like you are kissing up to the fictional character.

Jul 18 - 11:55 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Look, when The Avengers and Amazing Spiderman had pages devoted for their fans to discuss them, there were a few Batman/DC trolls who were rightfully scorned, even by me. It's just not appropriate. Give the Marvel fans their place to celebrate. So now we get the Batman thread, and I expect some consistency. Leave your Marvel folks at home.

Jul 18 - 12:02 PM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

I am a fan of both Marvel and DC. Big deal that Marvel was discussed. You're too sensitive.

Jul 18 - 12:05 PM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

Although I admit that I agree with some of what you said. Keep in mind though that I never started a Marvel discussion, I only replied to it. I replied a lot here, sometimes I get replied back and whoola a discussion is formed.

Jul 18 - 12:12 PM

Ryan N.

Ryan Nolan

Batman and X-men have the best villains in comic book history, The Joker, Magneto and Apocalypse alone seal the deal...in my opinion, of course.

Jul 17 - 11:13 PM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

The Magneto has a bucket in his head. How cheesy. Of course that's sarcasm due to the Mysterio mention. I like Magneto.

Jul 18 - 06:53 AM

zinc alloy

zinc alloy

look out...it's the Rhino and he's charging again! Yeah...right

Jul 18 - 09:30 AM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

I'm the Juggernaut, bitch.

Jul 18 - 10:47 AM

Norman Dostal

Norman Dostal

As Ogre said, "NERDS!!!!!!"

Jul 19 - 02:04 PM

Stepping Razor

Stepping Razor

... and never rub it either!

Jul 17 - 05:13 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

There'll be a hot time in the old town tonight!

Jul 17 - 05:35 PM

Justin D.

Justin D.

Really? Spider-Man's villains are memorable sure, but they are also some of the cheesiest villains in comic book lore. More than half of them dress like animals (and a couple of them actually turn into animals). I'm not saying that Batman doesn't have campy bad guys but there's a level of madness to them that makes them more menacing. I mean let's be honest, which of these two villains would you be more likely to laugh at if you found yourself face to face with one of them; Deadshot, a super skilled marksman/assassin, or the Vulture, a geriatric in a bird costume?

Jul 17 - 05:24 PM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

Venom, Carnage, Electro, Mysterio and Green Goblin alone makes Spidey's rogues gallery's awesome without mentioning the others. Vulture was a unfair comparision.

Jul 17 - 05:36 PM

Justin D.

Justin D.

I'll give you Green Goblin and Venom, but Mysterio? The man has a fishbowl on his head. And Carnage is one of the most overrated characters in the Spider-Man mythos (oh look, a red Venom, how edgy and original). In fact, that parenthetical brings me to another point about Spider-Man; he has too many copycat villains. Green Goblin/Hobgoblin, Venom/Carnage, Sandman/Hydro Man, Kraven the Hunter/the Grim Hunter... the list could go on. As I said, Spider-Man has some memorable villains but they're mostly corny ones. Meanwhile Batman's rogues gallery consists mostly of villains that are both memorable and terrifying. Now don't get me wrong, I love Spider-Man and his mythos, but let's call a spade a spade.

Jul 17 - 05:52 PM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

Justin D. I don't know about you but I think Mysterio's look is iconic when it comes to a comic book character look. Like Doctor Doom's look it works more for comic books than movies etc. Mysterio's power is also very very imaginitive. It opens a lot of possibilities.

Jul 17 - 06:32 PM

Kyle VanderHeyden

Kyle VanderHeyden

Mysterio may have a stupid costume, but mos mysterio stories are highly entertaining; convincing spider-man he is six inches tall, turning the highschool he works in a haunted house deathtrap, etc. i'll agree batvillians are better, but A) spidey's rougues gallery is the runner up B)don't knock mysterio

Jul 17 - 06:34 PM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

I like both rogue gallery's just about the same. Batman's better in the psychological department but is lacking on being creative on the power department like Spidey's. One thing I am upset though is that the creators never think of good newer villains of Spider-Man unlike Batman's.

Jul 17 - 06:41 PM

Justin D.

Justin D.

After that list of dopplegangers I just listed you think Batman's villains lack originality? (In fact I think Spider-Man has a villain named Doppleganger.) I don't think there's one Batman villain that comes across as a retread of another Batman villain (with the exception of maybe Black Mask and Two-Face...and The Riddler and Cluemaster). The Joker, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, Clayface, Ra's al Ghul, Killer Croc, Bane, The Ventriloquist/Scarface, Mr. Zsasz... all of them different and all of them unique, and many of them disturbing when you delve into their back stories.

Jul 17 - 07:24 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I got an idea. Go screw your Spiderman toys because this page is supposed to be about Batman '89.

Jul 17 - 07:50 PM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

I didn't say Batman villains lack originality. I said they lack originality on the powers department. You know superpowers. Geez. @Janson J. That was rude and uncalled for.I sure don't own any Spider-Man toys.

Jul 18 - 05:56 AM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

@Janson J. You're idea is stupid. We can talk about any superhero we want. Freedom of speech dude. Freedom of speech. If you don't have a problem with that than go fap while reading your Batman comics or watching his movies. You should definitely be too old for toys.

Jul 18 - 07:02 AM

rle4lunch

Chad W

Jansons comment might've been rude, but it still made me chuckle. Why do people take words (especially internet words) so seriously? This thread needs an ENEMA!

sorry, had to throw that in.

Jul 18 - 07:31 AM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

Not that funny IMO. Probably because it's directed to me not to you. I should probably avoid fighting fire with fire though. That makes a difference. But yeah I loved the Jack Nicholson Joker reference. ;)

Jul 18 - 07:46 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

"I got badda fish to fry"

Jul 18 - 10:06 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

That was a Shreck quote, genius.

Jul 18 - 11:38 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Nope. "Shreck", as in the Christopher Walken character. You really should have some understanding of the films that this page was intended to be the topic of discussion here rather than inserting your Marvel Villains.

Jul 18 - 11:59 AM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

I don't need you to tell me what I need to know or not to know. I watched the movies but I am not nerdy enough to know what each characters and actors are in all of the movies. Definitely when I have seen a lot of movies. Nor do I need to. There's more constructive things to learn about and you know what else is not constructive. You bashing me all the time.

Jul 18 - 12:04 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Wow. Did you actually delete your lame guess? Sensitivity indeed.

Jul 18 - 12:23 PM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

Yeah I did. You are talking to yourself now. I don't give a damn about you're quote and where it came from. It wasn't worth replying to. ;)

Jul 18 - 12:33 PM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

But I don't see how that makes me sensitive. I fully admit I don't remember that quote and I am not ashamed of it. It only sounds familiar and I assumed you were doing a Joker quote because the other guy did. It would have made a lot more sense.

Jul 18 - 12:40 PM

rle4lunch

Chad W

Another nerdy fact is that the Max Schreck character was in homage to the real Max Schreck; a German actor who played the first Nosferatu on the silver screen.

Jul 19 - 02:08 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I'm not sure if Spiderman's villains, collected together, could make as great a graphic novel as Arkham Asylum.

Jul 17 - 05:33 PM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

Sinister Six? Also IMO the greatest medium that ever compiled the villains story progressions is the tv series, The Spectacular Spider-Man. Even then the show didn't manage to bring all of them to life due to cancellation.

Jul 17 - 05:42 PM

Caddy Cadogan

Caddy Cadogan

Sinister 6 doesn't come close to Arkham Asylum, that book is utterly terrifying and unravels everything about Batman.

Jul 17 - 07:10 PM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

Well the sinister six isn't really one comic book but a gathering in a multiple of comic books. But yeah let's not talk about Spider-Man anymore.

Jul 18 - 05:59 AM

Jason C Wilkerson

Jason Wilkerson

The biggest problem with trying to compare Batman and Spiderman's rogues galleries is the fact that Spiderman's rogues gallery wasn't always just his enemies. A lot of them also made their way into other Marvel publications. With very few exceptions Batman's rogues gallery is his own.

Jul 17 - 09:30 PM

Theodore Trout

Theodore Trout

I agree. Spidey should get it just for the Kingpin - oh right he's become a DD villain .

Jul 17 - 10:06 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Joker drinks Kingpin's milkshake.

Jul 17 - 10:27 PM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

Darth Vader drinks everybody's milkshakes. Including the Joker's. Venom really is the only Spider-Man villain that can rival Joker's popularity although I wish it was Norman Osborn.

Jul 18 - 06:13 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Oh, yeah, well Unicron, eats planets, duh. Grow up.

Jul 18 - 10:12 AM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

Fail of a reply. That didn't make any sense. Your description sounds more like Galactus but I am not a Transformers nerd so what do I know. You telling me to grow up when you reply with "Oh yeah well" is really ironic. I read your comment in a 5 year olds arguementive voice. Honestly can't we get along or are you just going to sound like a dumbass the whole time you reply to me.

Jul 18 - 10:44 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I was making fun of your childishness in trying to insert the irrelevent Darth Vador into the equation. You should read my comment as sounding like a child, because I'm mirroring how you sound.

Jul 18 - 11:42 AM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

I felt the same way about you're Joker vs. Kingpin comparision. You started it.

Jul 18 - 11:52 AM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

It sounded like you are kissing up to the fictional character.

Jul 18 - 11:55 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Look, when The Avengers and Amazing Spiderman had pages devoted for their fans to discuss them, there were a few Batman/DC trolls who were rightfully scorned, even by me. It's just not appropriate. Give the Marvel fans their place to celebrate. So now we get the Batman thread, and I expect some consistency. Leave your Marvel folks at home.

Jul 18 - 12:02 PM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

I am a fan of both Marvel and DC. Big deal that Marvel was discussed. You're too sensitive.

Jul 18 - 12:05 PM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

Although I admit that I agree with some of what you said. Keep in mind though that I never started a Marvel discussion, I only replied to it. I replied a lot here, sometimes I get replied back and whoola a discussion is formed.

Jul 18 - 12:12 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

There'll be a hot time in the old town tonight!

Jul 17 - 05:35 PM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

Venom, Carnage, Electro, Mysterio and Green Goblin alone makes Spidey's rogues gallery's awesome without mentioning the others. Vulture was a unfair comparision.

Jul 17 - 05:36 PM

Justin D.

Justin D.

I'll give you Green Goblin and Venom, but Mysterio? The man has a fishbowl on his head. And Carnage is one of the most overrated characters in the Spider-Man mythos (oh look, a red Venom, how edgy and original). In fact, that parenthetical brings me to another point about Spider-Man; he has too many copycat villains. Green Goblin/Hobgoblin, Venom/Carnage, Sandman/Hydro Man, Kraven the Hunter/the Grim Hunter... the list could go on. As I said, Spider-Man has some memorable villains but they're mostly corny ones. Meanwhile Batman's rogues gallery consists mostly of villains that are both memorable and terrifying. Now don't get me wrong, I love Spider-Man and his mythos, but let's call a spade a spade.

Jul 17 - 05:52 PM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

Justin D. I don't know about you but I think Mysterio's look is iconic when it comes to a comic book character look. Like Doctor Doom's look it works more for comic books than movies etc. Mysterio's power is also very very imaginitive. It opens a lot of possibilities.

Jul 17 - 06:32 PM

Kyle VanderHeyden

Kyle VanderHeyden

Mysterio may have a stupid costume, but mos mysterio stories are highly entertaining; convincing spider-man he is six inches tall, turning the highschool he works in a haunted house deathtrap, etc. i'll agree batvillians are better, but A) spidey's rougues gallery is the runner up B)don't knock mysterio

Jul 17 - 06:34 PM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

I like both rogue gallery's just about the same. Batman's better in the psychological department but is lacking on being creative on the power department like Spidey's. One thing I am upset though is that the creators never think of good newer villains of Spider-Man unlike Batman's.

Jul 17 - 06:41 PM

Justin D.

Justin D.

After that list of dopplegangers I just listed you think Batman's villains lack originality? (In fact I think Spider-Man has a villain named Doppleganger.) I don't think there's one Batman villain that comes across as a retread of another Batman villain (with the exception of maybe Black Mask and Two-Face...and The Riddler and Cluemaster). The Joker, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, Clayface, Ra's al Ghul, Killer Croc, Bane, The Ventriloquist/Scarface, Mr. Zsasz... all of them different and all of them unique, and many of them disturbing when you delve into their back stories.

Jul 17 - 07:24 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I got an idea. Go screw your Spiderman toys because this page is supposed to be about Batman '89.

Jul 17 - 07:50 PM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

I didn't say Batman villains lack originality. I said they lack originality on the powers department. You know superpowers. Geez. @Janson J. That was rude and uncalled for.I sure don't own any Spider-Man toys.

Jul 18 - 05:56 AM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

@Janson J. You're idea is stupid. We can talk about any superhero we want. Freedom of speech dude. Freedom of speech. If you don't have a problem with that than go fap while reading your Batman comics or watching his movies. You should definitely be too old for toys.

Jul 18 - 07:02 AM

rle4lunch

Chad W

Jansons comment might've been rude, but it still made me chuckle. Why do people take words (especially internet words) so seriously? This thread needs an ENEMA!

sorry, had to throw that in.

Jul 18 - 07:31 AM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

Not that funny IMO. Probably because it's directed to me not to you. I should probably avoid fighting fire with fire though. That makes a difference. But yeah I loved the Jack Nicholson Joker reference. ;)

Jul 18 - 07:46 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

"I got badda fish to fry"

Jul 18 - 10:06 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

That was a Shreck quote, genius.

Jul 18 - 11:38 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Nope. "Shreck", as in the Christopher Walken character. You really should have some understanding of the films that this page was intended to be the topic of discussion here rather than inserting your Marvel Villains.

Jul 18 - 11:59 AM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

I don't need you to tell me what I need to know or not to know. I watched the movies but I am not nerdy enough to know what each characters and actors are in all of the movies. Definitely when I have seen a lot of movies. Nor do I need to. There's more constructive things to learn about and you know what else is not constructive. You bashing me all the time.

Jul 18 - 12:04 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Wow. Did you actually delete your lame guess? Sensitivity indeed.

Jul 18 - 12:23 PM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

Yeah I did. You are talking to yourself now. I don't give a damn about you're quote and where it came from. It wasn't worth replying to. ;)

Jul 18 - 12:33 PM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

But I don't see how that makes me sensitive. I fully admit I don't remember that quote and I am not ashamed of it. It only sounds familiar and I assumed you were doing a Joker quote because the other guy did. It would have made a lot more sense.

Jul 18 - 12:40 PM

rle4lunch

Chad W

Another nerdy fact is that the Max Schreck character was in homage to the real Max Schreck; a German actor who played the first Nosferatu on the silver screen.

Jul 19 - 02:08 PM

Justin D.

Justin D.

Even as a child I was never fan of Tim Burton. Don't get me wrong, he's made some entertaining films (Beetlejuice is awesome), but for the most part I've found him just okay. It was the cast that made me like these Batman films. Nicholson was amazing so I don't need to say much there, and Pfiefer and Christopher Walken stole the show for me in Batman Returns. The Burton take on the Batman lore was too... well, too Burton. Also I didn't like that Batman was killing people in these films. Burton ignored the one defining element of his character that separated him from the rest of Gotham's loonies; Batman doesn't kill anyone. I don't know, it all felt so pulpy to me (and yes I realize I'm talking about the story of a man who fights crime dressed as a bat).

Jul 17 - 05:36 PM

Ryan N.

Ryan Nolan

Burton is a style over substance kinda guy and it works pretty well about half the time...the other half produces garbage like Alice in Wonderland, Dark Shadows, Planet of the Apes and Mars Attacks.

Jul 17 - 11:16 PM

Nick Mancuso

Nick Mancuso

I dont know if you can truly say this after watching Ed Wood

Jul 22 - 08:25 PM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

Sinister Six? Also IMO the greatest medium that ever compiled the villains story progressions is the tv series, The Spectacular Spider-Man. Even then the show didn't manage to bring all of them to life due to cancellation.

Jul 17 - 05:42 PM

Caddy Cadogan

Caddy Cadogan

Sinister 6 doesn't come close to Arkham Asylum, that book is utterly terrifying and unravels everything about Batman.

Jul 17 - 07:10 PM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

Well the sinister six isn't really one comic book but a gathering in a multiple of comic books. But yeah let's not talk about Spider-Man anymore.

Jul 18 - 05:59 AM

Joshua Henderson

Joshua Henderson

I liked both the Burton Batman movies. It was back in the day when Burton knew how to make his movies good.

Jul 17 - 05:43 PM

Captain Terror

Captain Terror

It's easy now to forget what a GIANT deal that first film was. I was 18 at the time, and people were walking around with the Bat Symbol t-shirts for what seems like a year before the film even came out. This is the first film that I can recall that had such massive interest prior to release. It happens now every summer but back then it was extraordinary.
And you could argue that this film had a big impact on 90s culture also. (Check out Fincher's videos for Madonna's "Express Yourself" & "Vogue".) Without this film there's no Crow and Darkman and so on. And the success of Batman begat Ed Scissorhands and Nightmare and so on, which were very influential to my fellow early-90s art majors at the time.
Thus conludes my walk down memory lane.

Jul 17 - 05:46 PM

Brad H.

Brad Hadfield

How can you take that trip without mentioning the Prince song? It was inescapable that summer.

Jul 18 - 06:13 AM

Jimmy G.

Jimmy Gee

Good points. I was a teen when it came out and I remember that the theater was packed though I saw it a couple weeks after it came out. The whole place erupted in cheers and clapping when the Batwing silhouetted against the moon. It was a rare cinematic experience.
Speaking of how it influenced culture, though...wasn't Batman the first major film to be released on video so soon after it debuted in theaters? I had my VHS copy a few months later!

Yeah, Brad--that Prince soundtrack was HUGE too.

Jul 18 - 07:01 AM

Captain Terror

Captain Terror

You're right of course. You couldn't even turn on the damn radio w/o encountering Batman.

I'm not sure, but wasn't the Prince album one of the first "Music From and Inspired by" soundtracks? Meaning there were songs on the album that weren't in the movie? If it wasn't the first, then Madonna's "Dick Tracy" probably was. (Another film that probably wouldn't have been made without Batman)

Jul 18 - 07:17 AM

Jimmy G.

Jimmy Gee

I think you're right about the music thing.

Oh, and also Batman (if I remember right) set the standard for lower priced videos--it was $19.99 when it came out. A lot of movies coming out on video were $50-$100 sticker price back then. Batman changed that and when they were released. (If I'm remembering things right--I wasn't buying a lot of movies back then)

Jul 18 - 07:20 AM

Captain Terror

Captain Terror

I wasn't a big movie buyer at the time, so I'll defer to you on the vhs thing. We were more of a "tape stuff off cable" family.

Jul 18 - 07:26 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

A lot of Prince's soundtrack took tracks (Electric Chair and Lemon Crush, I know) from an abandoned project called "Computer World". Prince became notorious for leaving entire albums unreleased.

It's true that the majority of VHS releases at the time were meant solely for the rental market, with only a handful of tapes priced for the home collection available at any time. This didn't really start to change until DVD. Also, the "Batman" tape was out by Thanksgiving that year, and did normalize the 5-6 month window between theater and home video release.

Jul 18 - 10:11 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

EDIT: The Prince project was called "Corporate World" and was intended for The Time.

Jul 18 - 12:26 PM

Justin D.

Justin D.

I'll give you Green Goblin and Venom, but Mysterio? The man has a fishbowl on his head. And Carnage is one of the most overrated characters in the Spider-Man mythos (oh look, a red Venom, how edgy and original). In fact, that parenthetical brings me to another point about Spider-Man; he has too many copycat villains. Green Goblin/Hobgoblin, Venom/Carnage, Sandman/Hydro Man, Kraven the Hunter/the Grim Hunter... the list could go on. As I said, Spider-Man has some memorable villains but they're mostly corny ones. Meanwhile Batman's rogues gallery consists mostly of villains that are both memorable and terrifying. Now don't get me wrong, I love Spider-Man and his mythos, but let's call a spade a spade.

Jul 17 - 05:52 PM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

I think both are fantastic movies, but I love Returns a lot more than the prequel. That's the movie of my childhood, the one I'd watch every day after I got home from school. Well, that, the Nightmare on Elm Streets and DBZ.

Jul 17 - 05:52 PM

David Hurlburt

David Hurlburt

I watched my Batman movie so much that the VHS broke lol. It was a very sad day when that happened. Was in tears. Also DBZ ruled my life for about 10 years. Still does this day in a way.

Jul 17 - 08:22 PM

Nick Rebel

Nick Rebel

Haha. Afternoons hitting up that DBZ on Toonami huh.
Who doesn't remember that!?

Jul 18 - 05:25 AM

Lukee Scissorhands-Skywalker

Lukee Scissorhands-Skywalker

Alright, I friggen loved Batman Returns :D not as much as the first one mind you, but it was still great. Danny DeVito as the Penguin, no... Danny DeVito IS the Penguin. I hate when people say it was too dark and violent... geez, I thought this was a BATMAN movie.. Keaton is still great, Michelle Pfeiffer is just awesome as Catwoman, and Christopher Walken is... fun to watch. And as for the depressing stuff people are saying about it, I've yet to find anything depressing in it... I love the darkness and demented characters and yes- I eve like the scene where Penguin bites the guy's nose- that's hilarious! As for the first movie, it still remains my all-time favourite Batman movie, 'nuff said.. too incredible to contemplate in a comment :P oh and Danny Elfman's music... one word: WOW. That is the Batman theme right there.

Jul 17 - 05:56 PM

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