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Old June 2 2012, 11:34 PM   #16
Disruptor
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Re: Batman...

I've heard 'Nicholson playing himself' comments before. I can understand that. I feel that way about many celebrities, and even celeb voice acting can remove me from an animated film. You might see Donkey, Shrek's wacky sidekick. I see Eddie Murphy in a recording booth. I'm starting to see Clancy Brown that way now, too, that's more due to his frequent performances on cartoons than his live action familiarity.


Warped9 wrote: View Post
The other thing that gets me is how small this film feels. I mean in the sense it feels like it was all filmed on a soundstage. It doesn't feel like it's part of a larger world hidden off camera and just beyond the sets.
Batman Returns seems worse in that aspect. Gotham City = a department store, sewers and an abandoned zoo.

I agree the film hasn't aged well.

As for the trueness to the source material. That's almost an irrelevant critique now. Everything has been "reimagined" or is part of an alternate continuity. Even the sacred cow called Star Trek. If comic creators can do it, film makers can, too. Tim Burton is notorious for reimaginings now. Batman was just the start.


I tend not to compare animated and live action films, myself. I'm bored with ideal that Batman the Animated Series has become in the eyes of comic fans. Yes, it was good. (Until the awful redesigns of the spin-off.) But you can stop comparing everything to it, because that just sets yourself up for disappointment.

sonak wrote:
1989's "Batman" is all about style over substance and yeah, it hasn't aged so well. Still, I liked that Burton's Batman would kill when necessary. Nolan's "comic book realism" approach suffers from keeping the whole "vigilante who DOESN'T carry a gun has a no kill rule."

The idea doesn't work realistically, because, sooner or later, Batman would kill someone by accident.
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Old June 2 2012, 11:52 PM   #17
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Re: Batman...

Disruptor wrote: View Post
As for the trueness to the source material. That's almost an irrelevant critique now. Everything has been "reimagined" or is part of an alternate continuity.
In and of itself, no. There's nothing wrong with reinterpreting a work of fiction, and Batman has certainly been reinterpreted many ways over the decades. It's just that when the film came out, lots of people claimed it was more faithful and true to what Batman was than previous screen adaptations had been, and that's simply incorrect. It was superficially darker and grittier, like the Batman comics of the day, but it didn't really have much else in common with them.


The idea doesn't work realistically, because, sooner or later, Batman would kill someone by accident.
Accidents are always possible, but that doesn't mean it's unrealistic for a character to strive to avoid taking life if at all possible. After all, that's kind of what police do in real life -- when they do use lethal force, it's supposed to be an absolute last resort when all other options have failed, and there's a lot of effort to develop new less-lethal weapons.

Indeed, it's actually more plausible for a civilian vigilante to strive for nonlethality, because if he does kill, then he won't have the legal protection and support that a state actor like a police officer or FBI agent would have, and would thus be vulnerable to homicide prosecution or wrongful-death lawsuits. Look at the "real-life superhero" Phoenix Jones and how quick the Seattle police were to crack down on him just for using pepper spray to break up a heated argument. The police tolerating and cooperating with a nonlethal crimefighter is barely plausible; the police tolerating and cooperating with a deadly vigilante is completely beyond belief.
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Old June 2 2012, 11:54 PM   #18
Warped9
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Re: Batman...

I disagree that one cannot compare a live-action work with an animated one. It all comes down to the final result: how well does the work achieve its objective?

The animated Batman of the animated series and some of the spin-off films feel more like the original source materiel: the comics. Not necessarily the comics of the early 1940s, but perhaps the comics of the 1970s, '80s and '90s. They give the source materiel sound and motion and the viewer filters that into some interpretation/approximation of what it could be like if "real." The live-action films of the '90s forced/filtered the idea of Batman and his world into a warped idea of "reality." They were effectively spoofing how Batman was presented in the comics of the time.

And while the animated work was itself stylized it presented the substance as it was meant to be presented mirroring the approach of the comics.

So in the '90s which approach was more successful? Which approach was truer to how Batman was meant to be presented?

In the '90s it was the animated series and films that were far more faithful to Batman than the live-action movies.

It's interesting how this played out in the years to follow. For DC their characters have been better presented in their direct-to-video features than as live-action. Except for Nolan's recent take on Batman the DC characters have been unable to find the same success as Marvel has had with its characters in live-action films.
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Old June 3 2012, 01:38 AM   #19
sonak
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Re: Batman...

Christopher wrote: View Post
Disruptor wrote: View Post
As for the trueness to the source material. That's almost an irrelevant critique now. Everything has been "reimagined" or is part of an alternate continuity.
In and of itself, no. There's nothing wrong with reinterpreting a work of fiction, and Batman has certainly been reinterpreted many ways over the decades. It's just that when the film came out, lots of people claimed it was more faithful and true to what Batman was than previous screen adaptations had been, and that's simply incorrect. It was superficially darker and grittier, like the Batman comics of the day, but it didn't really have much else in common with them.


The idea doesn't work realistically, because, sooner or later, Batman would kill someone by accident.
Accidents are always possible, but that doesn't mean it's unrealistic for a character to strive to avoid taking life if at all possible. After all, that's kind of what police do in real life -- when they do use lethal force, it's supposed to be an absolute last resort when all other options have failed, and there's a lot of effort to develop new less-lethal weapons.

Indeed, it's actually more plausible for a civilian vigilante to strive for nonlethality, because if he does kill, then he won't have the legal protection and support that a state actor like a police officer or FBI agent would have, and would thus be vulnerable to homicide prosecution or wrongful-death lawsuits. Look at the "real-life superhero" Phoenix Jones and how quick the Seattle police were to crack down on him just for using pepper spray to break up a heated argument. The police tolerating and cooperating with a nonlethal crimefighter is barely plausible; the police tolerating and cooperating with a deadly vigilante is completely beyond belief.

I wasn't saying to turn Batman into a "Punisher" type character. But a vigilante who's taking on rooms full of violent criminals wouldn't be able to worry about defending himself and simultaneously making sure he's not killing a single person there. He'd strive to avoid deliberate killing, but would do it in the heat of battle if he had to.

Heck, Nolan's Batman does this anyway in TDK with Harvey Dent, even though one of the issues is that he WON'T kill.

It's sort of like "uh, if you could do THAT, why did you worry so much about killing the Joker?" You could have saved a lot of lives earlier.
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Old June 3 2012, 12:13 PM   #20
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Re: Batman...

That was my major complaint about Dark Knight, Batman should never kill. It was also my major complaint with Batman Begins, Batman should never through inaction allow someone to be killed either.

Hell, in a comic book, someone ELSE kills the Joker, and Batman resurrects him with a Lazarus Pit!
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Old June 3 2012, 05:58 PM   #21
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Re: Batman...

The movie was a bitter disappointment to me back in the day, as I gotten caught up in the hype. Add to that my friend Ryan had seen it and could not stop talking about how good it was... By the time I saw it with him, I was expecting the world but then kept asking him "When is this going to get good?"

In retrospect, I was entertained, but my high hopes for it being the best thing since sliced bread were dashed...

With the advent of Nolan's movies, I've come to realize that I really enjoy a more "real world" feeling to my superhero movies and that Burton's vision of Gotham (and then subsequently Shumacher's) just left me cold, which is no way to enjoy a movie.
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Old June 3 2012, 06:09 PM   #22
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Re: Batman...

marillion wrote: View Post
With the advent of Nolan's movies, I've come to realize that I really enjoy a more "real world" feeling to my superhero movies and that Burton's vision of Gotham (and then subsequently Shumacher's) just left me cold, which is no way to enjoy a movie.
I've had similar feelings.
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Old June 3 2012, 09:34 PM   #23
M'rk, son of Mogh
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Re: Batman...

Oddly, the Nolan movies make me miss the 89 movie more.
They're so serious and faux-realistic that they almost forget they're based on a comic book character named "Batman".

I still enjoy the Nolan movies, I'm not a hater by any means. But sometimes it's just a bit too much. I have more trouble re-watching, for example, The Dark Knight, than any other super hero movie I own, mostly because it's so dark and almost exhausting. There needs to be a bit more fun, or at least, better balance. I get more 'entertainment' value from other movies despite them not being as well crafted.
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Old June 4 2012, 07:19 AM   #24
Peach Wookiee
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Re: Batman...

I liked the Burton-verse, but I think I like the BTAS universe a bit better.
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Old June 6 2012, 02:38 AM   #25
Warped9
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Re: Batman...

Batman Returns (1992) **

Catwoman, the Penguin and a scheming financier wreak choas on Gotham City.

Some people around here aren’t going to like me. This was a bad and painful movie to watch. I remember it being better, but it’s just bad. Michelle Pfieffer notwithstanding.

The 1989 Batman had a very Burton-esque flavour to it, but Batman Returns is not only very theatrical yet also pure umistakably Tim Burton. Everything is exaggerated and over exaggerated. There is no subtlety whatsoever. Watching this is like watching a live-action cartoon, and in this context I don’t mean that in a good way.

This version of Batman has no apparent aversion to killing if it comes down to it. The origin story for Catwoman is just plain stupid. The Penguin is simply grotesque. Max Shreck is a psycho. I could find no interest whatsoever for these characters. It's not much better than a somewhat more serious version of the '60's TV series.

I couldn’t buy one thing in this film. It was one bit of nonsense and ridiculousness after another.

The one good thing I liked was that Batman’s costume looked better here than previously, particularly the cowl.

On second thought the one other good thing is that it’s somewhat better than the two films which follow it.

What a huge disappointment.
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Old June 6 2012, 03:04 AM   #26
Agent Richard07
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Re: Batman...

Warped9 wrote: View Post
The 1989 Batman had a very Burton-esque flavour to it, but Batman Returns is not only very theatrical yet also pure umistakably Tim Burton. Everything is exaggerated and over exaggerated. There is no subtlety whatsoever. Watching this is like watching a live-action cartoon, and in this context I don’t mean that in a good way.
My understanding is that after the success of the first film, Burton was given more freedom with the second, which is why it looks even more Burton-esque. I liked it when I first saw it too, but looking back, it's a bit much. I agree on that. And what was with the slush that looked like whipcream?
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Old June 6 2012, 03:14 AM   #27
sonak
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Re: Batman...

Warped9 wrote: View Post
Batman Returns (1992) **

Catwoman, the Penguin and a scheming financier wreak choas on Gotham City.

Some people around here arenít going to like me. This was a bad and painful movie to watch. I remember it being better, but itís just bad. Michelle Pfieffer notwithstanding.

The 1989 Batman had a very Burton-esque flavour to it, but Batman Returns is not only very theatrical yet also pure umistakably Tim Burton. Everything is exaggerated and over exaggerated. There is no subtlety whatsoever. Watching this is like watching a live-action cartoon, and in this context I donít mean that in a good way.

This version of Batman has no apparent aversion to killing if it comes down to it. The origin story for Catwoman is just plain stupid. The Penguin is simply grotesque. Max Shreck is a psycho. I could find no interest whatsoever for these characters. It's not much better than a somewhat more serious version of the '60's TV series.

I couldnít buy one thing in this film. It was one bit of nonsense and ridiculousness after another.

The one good thing I liked was that Batmanís costume looked better here than previously, particularly the cowl.

On second thought the one other good thing is that itís somewhat better than the two films which follow it.

What a huge disappointment.

It's a truly bizarre movie, but to me that's not a bad thing. I like it better than the original now. It feels, as someone once described it "like a comic book transplanted to the big screen."

Devito's performance is really underrated. And it's a VERY dark portrayal of Batman, as disturbed and alone.

Big downsides-Batman's practically just a guest star in this one, not getting a lot of time. The main plot makes very little sense(what kind of ludicrous plot is that of Shreck's?), oh and HOW DUMB are the citizens of Gotham? Penguin for mayor? Really?
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Old June 6 2012, 03:25 AM   #28
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Re: Batman...

marillion wrote: View Post
With the advent of Nolan's movies, I've come to realize that I really enjoy a more "real world" feeling to my superhero movies and that Burton's vision of Gotham (and then subsequently Shumacher's) just left me cold, which is no way to enjoy a movie.
I had the exact opposite reaction. Gotham City should be presented as a character in it's own right, with a distinct feel and personality. Nolan's Gotham could be any city, and that bored me.

M'rk, son of Mogh wrote: View Post
Oddly, the Nolan movies make me miss the 89 movie more.
They're so serious and faux-realistic that they almost forget they're based on a comic book character named "Batman".

I still enjoy the Nolan movies, I'm not a hater by any means. But sometimes it's just a bit too much. I have more trouble re-watching, for example, The Dark Knight, than any other super hero movie I own, mostly because it's so dark and almost exhausting. There needs to be a bit more fun, or at least, better balance. I get more 'entertainment' value from other movies despite them not being as well crafted.
QFT.
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Old June 6 2012, 03:34 AM   #29
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Re: Batman...

Warped9 wrote: View Post
Batman Returns (1992) **

Some people around here arenít going to like me. This was a bad and painful movie to watch. I remember it being better, but itís just bad. Michelle Pfieffer notwithstanding.
You may be surprised, I don't think it's a movie that's really fared the test of time very well. I think the worst part of it, really, is how Burton turned The Penguin from simply and oddly dapper, ugly, mobster into a freak who lived in the sewers.

And, personally, I'm not a fan of how Catwoman was done either. I really think it's not a movie that completely works and really, is a sign of the insanity from Burton that was yet to come.
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Old June 6 2012, 03:34 AM   #30
Agent Richard07
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Re: Batman...

I'm firmly in the "why shouldn't superhero movies be allowed to take their subject matter seriously?" camp.
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