Best Batman movie?

Talk about music, movies, television, books, and other media. No religious or political discussion allowed.
matmico399
Posts: 470
Joined: November 25th, 2015, 6:11 pm

Best Batman movie?

Postby matmico399 » July 23rd, 2016, 7:20 pm

I am really not into super hero movies. But I have to admit I really enjoyed the Tim Burton directed ones. Mine would have to be Batman Returns, 1992. With Keaton, Devito and Pfeiffer. To me that was everything a comic book movie should be. The use of real penguins with missiles on their backs was pure genius. Pfeiffer is perfectly cast and it's hard to imagine anyone other than Devito as a real Penguin. The art direction, cinematography and direction are superb. These new super hero movies I have no interest in.

User avatar
scotland
Posts: 1864
Joined: April 7th, 2015, 7:33 pm

Re: Best Batman movie?

Postby scotland » July 24th, 2016, 9:05 am

There's been more than one Batman movie? Are you pulling my leg?

Image

Actually, the best formats of Batman I've seen are animated, like Batman the Animated Series of the 1990s. Until the recent Flash TV series, live action superheroes had trouble navigating the inherent silliness of the superhero genre, and trying to be gritty and dark and mature. Its been an issue with comics since the mid 1980s, and I'm in the New Frontiers/Kingdom Come camp that sees the maligned virtues of the earlier period. Batman 66 just embraced the silliness (of the 1950s comics really). The 1970s Superfriends also embraced the silliness, and was entertaining (sometimes unintentionally so). Batman the Animated Series overcame the silliness by being animated, a great voice cast, its neo-gothic setting, and remarkably sympathetic villains, and somehow it works. Batman Brave and the Bold went back to embracing the silliness, and it worked too. Warner has been making a lot of animated movies in the last decade - some good, some bad, but in a variety of different tones - and if the recent unrelentingly dark and serious tone of live action summer blockbuster DC superheroes are leaving a bad taste in your mouth, check out some of the animated movies.

Uh-oh, the Troubalert, got to roll.

User avatar
VideoGameCritic
Site Admin
Posts: 11017
Joined: April 1st, 2015, 7:23 pm

Re: Best Batman movie?

Postby VideoGameCritic » July 24th, 2016, 10:28 am

Like Matmico, I'm not a huge superhero movie fan but I do have all the Batman movies on Blu Ray (except for Batman Vs Superman, which I haven't seen yet).

I like the gothic atmosphere of the first two, and the gritty realism of the Christopher Nolan movies. However, the ones I find myself returning to most often are the whimsical Batman Forever/Batman and Robin movies by Joel Schumaker. Not only do these have more laughs (many unintentional) but they have a sense of fun missing in the others. Plus, the eye candy is amazing.

Robotrek
Posts: 190
Joined: June 6th, 2016, 9:24 pm

Re: Best Batman movie?

Postby Robotrek » July 24th, 2016, 1:17 pm

If we're going STRICTLY on nostalgia, and what my FAVORITE Batman movie is, the 1966 Batman is and always will be my favorite. It's that comedic type of Batman that I think really shines. It's super fun to watch. But in terms of quality and production values, Batman begins is untouchable. I liked how it wasn't your typical Batman, and the plot was enough for me to pay for another ticket and watch it AGAIN, right after the first time! It was heavily enjoyable for me.

User avatar
Shapur
Posts: 192
Joined: July 31st, 2015, 8:10 pm

Re: Best Batman movie?

Postby Shapur » July 25th, 2016, 12:40 am

I'm not a big fan of the Tim Burton ones. Probably because I just don't much like anything by Tim Burton.

As for Nolan, Batman Begins was pretty good, The Dark Knight was an awesome ride and the Dark Knight Rises was pretty blah.

I'll vote Batman '66 as my favorite overall.

"Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb" :lol:

Voor
Posts: 429
Joined: April 14th, 2015, 8:08 pm

Re: Best Batman movie?

Postby Voor » July 27th, 2016, 8:26 pm

Critic, good luck on Batman vs Superman. With all the negative reviews, I wanted to try to like it, but couldn't. It was just awful. Boring, poor job of explaining their rivalry, worse job of explaining the resolution, predictable, and made them both just look....not smart.

ESauce
Posts: 266
Joined: April 8th, 2015, 12:20 pm

Re: Best Batman movie?

Postby ESauce » July 29th, 2016, 12:09 am

Fun topic. I have had this discussion before. Haha.

1. Batman -Michael Keaton was the best live-action Batman by a long shot (I could never decide whether he or Kevin Conroy was the best Batman period). Plus, Jack Nicholson is great as the joker. I love the Prince songs too.
2. Batman Returns - Michael Keaton is great again, and I don't care what other people say, I love when Batman blows up a goon with dynamite, flashing him a sadistic smile first. Danny Devito and Michelle Pfeiffer are great too, but this one doesn't quite reach the magic of the first.
3.The Dark Knight- While I think Christian Bale's Batman is terrible, everything else in this movie is fantastic: good writing, good action, and Heath Ledger is incredible.
4. Batman Forever - The campiness is just right in Batman Forever; you'll never see Tommy Lee Jones hamming it up so much in any other movie. If you're looking for the most fun Batman movie, this one is it.
5. The Dark Knight Rises - Lousy script, but still a decent action movie, and we all had fun doing Bane impressions for a while (okay fine, I still do sometimes).
6. Batman and Robin - Even more camp than Batman Forever, but unfortunately just a lousy movie. Uma Thurman puts in the worst performance of her career and Arnold doesn't really do any better. Wish I could enjoy this one like I enjoy Batman Forever, but it's lacking the elements that made Batman Forever work.
7. Batman Begins - I'm glad this movie did well so we got a sequel but I never saw the appeal. Puts me to sleep it's so boring. Why does a Batman movie have so little Batman? And when we finally see Batman it's a pretty major letdown. I'd sooner sit through Batman and Robin.

User avatar
scotland
Posts: 1864
Joined: April 7th, 2015, 7:33 pm

Re: Best Batman movie?

Postby scotland » July 29th, 2016, 5:59 am

Turner Classic Movies recently aired a number of serials (serially, of course). The first Batman movie was actually a WWII era serial called "Batman". The costume is not that bad, with a very pointy eared (not very athletic) Batman. The serial is actually the origin of the batcave, not the comics (much like Jimmy Olsen is from the Superman radio show, not the comics), being accessed through Wayne Manor (not via a bust of Shakespeare though). It does have an ethnic caricature as a villain, but given it was made literally during WWII, that should not be surprising. One of those classic Fleisher WWII superman cartoons does this as well.

Image

The style is lots of fisticuffs and cliffhangers, and Batman is a very pulp flavor hero like the radio Shadow. The villains lair is inside an amusement park ride (in a neighborhood where the locals were rounded up for internment camps, according to the narrator), and he has a James Bond over the top way of killing opponents by dropping them into an alligator pit! He turns people into mindless zombies. There are other hidden lairs, costume changes, and dramatic narration such as 'Yes, Batman, clad in the somber costume which has struck terror to the heart of many swaggering denizens of the Underworld."

The serial was cut as a movie and shown in the mid 1960s which (supposedly) led to an uptick in Batman interest and thus the tv show. It was released in home media in the 1980s, but by this time it was part of a library owned by Sony, who edited out some offensive content. TMC has shown it in its uncut format.

My favorite Batman might still be the one from Superfriends. This version has it all - from the simple Alex Toth original version, with all his campy bat equipment (voiced by Olan Soule), to the last Galactic Guardians season (now voiced by Adam West) with a darker tone that actually explored Batman's childhood trauma of witnessing (and being powerless to prevent) his parents senseless murder. That one show (in its several different formats) kinda travelled the Batman spectrum all by itself.

Image

Until tomorrow night, same Bat time, same Bat channel.

ThePixelatedGenocide
Posts: 120
Joined: April 29th, 2015, 9:06 pm

Re: Best Batman movie?

Postby ThePixelatedGenocide » July 30th, 2016, 12:41 am

To avoid writing a book, I'll only count those that hit theaters, and were meant to be seen as a self-contained feature length film.

Batman '66 - Needs more POW! What happened to the fights? Plus the new Catwoman lacks both the lash of a whip delivery of a Julie Newmar and the feline purr of an Eartha Kitt. What's left is a movie that veers from inspired, often surreal sadism (That noble dolphin!) to tame Saturday morning tricks. By the end, it almost completely runs out of energy, save for the fact that everything never quite goes back to normal. It's a shame this is the end of most people's experience with the 60's series, but still, when it's good, it's great. C-

Batman '89 - For those of us who lived through it, it's impossible to separate from the hype. It was more of an event, than a movie. The costume didn't fit, Batman couldn't bend his neck, the script was lazy, it looked like it was filmed on a soundstage, and not a single bit of it mattered, because this was a movie where every single scene was trying to steal the show. Nicholson defeated Keaton, just by being himself as the Joker, but in terms of remembering all of this was actually meant to be a Batman movie, Keaton will always be a hero. B -

Batman Returns - You know how camp needs to be played straight, in order to be funny? Imagine if you played it for tragedy, instead, so that the only one laughing is a cruel God who hates them all. This is a movie that understands what it's like to feel abandoned, ("Hell here") but one which also strips the Penguin of any humanity, before he dies. What is it trying to say? The script is rambling nonsense, even by franchise standards, but contains images so visually stunning, and a Catwoman so perfect for the role, that you can't simply dismiss it. D+ (If we average the total roller coaster ride)

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm - If it were as epic as the musical score, and it's best moments, it might be the best Batman movie ever made. This is a love that goes beyond summer movie sex, and a quest for justice that tears a man apart. But it doesn't quite feel right. Despite all the surprisingly well written history we're shown, the Phantasm is more a glorified one off villain of the week, and you could easily watch the series without seeing this, and not miss a thing. B+, but it could have been an easy A if they'd found a way for any of this to really matter.

Batman Forever - It felt like forever. Okay, so we're continuing with the camp from the last live action movie, but this time, the villains will just laugh a lot, and two top actors will earn millions of dollars playing their roles exactly the way most kids play villains. It doesn't run out of energy. The audience does. D.

Batman and Robin - it's meant to be a feature length toy commerical with ice puns. But I grew up in the 80's, and I know what a good feature length toy commercial looks like. F+. (B+ as a so bad it's good experience, especially if you enjoy bad impressions and terrible puns.)

Batman Begins - Okay, so it's not camp. Let's get this out of the way first - if you want a character drama that happens to feature a Batman movie at the end, this is written for your incredibly specific tastes. But a fair warning, the character drama features excellent acting, and the superhero action is not only meant to be confusing, but edited so poorly that you often have no idea what's actually happening. At it's heart, it's not a superhero movie. It's a movie about how Bruce Wayne actually became one. (B- for some audiences, C-/D+ for others. B+ at the time, if you just wanted help believing in a serious Batman again.)

The Dark Knight - This is a movie about why vigilante justice isn't really justice - and that's just a single throwaway vignette. Mostly, this is a movie about nihilism, pitted against the best of human nature. It doesn't end like a cartoon. This is the first Batman movie to feature a realistic psychopath who can inspire people with his charisma, and he doesn't completely lose. A. The best Batman movie ever made. It's an experience so powerful, that might not even question Batman's ridiculously pretentious/narcissistic plan to make Gotham hate him in the end.

Unless he just didn't want any other Batmen running around.

Still, it's assuming you can somehow take Christian Bale's Batman at all seriously, after the entire internet has made fun of his digitally altered voice. "Because I'm Batman!"

The Dark Knight Rises - If you're going to reference class warfare for your follow-up storyline, don't make it all hinge on getting rid of a bomb. Don't make the police so cartoonishly heroic that stop being real characters. Don't make the villains so cartoonishly evil that Anakin Skywalker, child killer, thinks they're going too far. And if you can't figure out, in your parable about anarchy and class warfare, that an orphaned Robin should get his name from a Robin Hood reference, don't call yourself a writer. D+.

Batman v Superman - 90 minutes in, and you've already seen every Batman vs Superman scene in the trailers already. By far the most boring of them all. Give me back Batman and Robin. D. Pretentious contrarians may regard the curbstomp obvious philosophy and religious symbolism as selling points, however. For them, it's probably a B-.

The Killing Joke - After DC sabotaged Batwoman by making her dangerously incompetent, it's not a surprise Batgirl was next in their sights. What was meant to expand on a story even it's own creator disowned, is a master class in how to undermine a character. Just replace Barbara Gordon with some of the worst Batman fangirls the internet has to offer, and it'll all make a lot more sense. Or just check out the original graphic novel instead. D-.

After the last few Batman movies, Justice League can't get here soon enough.

User avatar
velcrozombie
Posts: 269
Joined: April 12th, 2015, 3:37 pm

Re: Best Batman movie?

Postby velcrozombie » July 31st, 2016, 11:54 am

Quick and dirty:

1. Dark Knight, The - A-
2. Batman Returns - B+ (almost feels like the dark reflection of the Schumacher films in some ways)
3. Batman (1989) - B
4. Batman Begins - B- (This one in particular needs a rewatch; I've seen a lot of people say it's their favorite)
5. Dark Knight Rises, The - C+ (I really liked what they did with Bane and Catwoman, but much of the movie is dull and self-important with some pretty embarrassing attempts at being socially relevant)
6. Mask of the Phantasm - C (This also needs a rewatch; I loved B:TAS but I remember this film as just feeling like an overlong episode)
7. Batman Forever - D
8. Batman and Robin - D (Some people like Batman Forever and condemn Batman and Robin, but they both have nearly the same issues; if anything, Batman and Robin might be more interesting because it's even more unhinged and campy; watching either of them feels like eating a bucket of Cool-Whip)

I haven't seen Batman (1966) or any of the other animated films yet


Return to “Other Media”