ming movie reviews

in about 100 words or less

Batman (1989)

USA 126m, Colour
Director: Tim Burton; Cast: Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl, Jack Palance

Tim Burton set a new standard for the film adaptation of the comic book hero with his critically and commercially successful 1989 adaptation of Batman. As the unlikely hero, Michael Keaton was unexpectedly fitting for the title role, however, the star of the film and the underlying reason for its success lay with Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of the Joker – who brought a depth of character previously not seen in the genre. While Danny Elfman’s score was near perfect, the film suffers from Prince’s musical numbers, which are beyond terrible and remain an embarrassing accompaniment to what otherwise was an excellent film (Klaus Ming August 2010).

4 comments on “Batman (1989)

  1. Anthony Lee Collins

    We disagree somewhat about this one. I liked Michael Keaton a lot, both as Batman and as Bruce Wayne. My favorite portrayal of the character(s). (As an aside, I thought he’d be good after seeing him in The Dream Team, where he played a character who had trouble distinguishing reality from fantasy, and who had a tendency toward violence — basically Bruce Wayne without money 🙂 .)

    I was not that impressed by Nicholson as the Joker, but what I loved was Nicholson as Jack Napier (before the accident). That was a great performance, including the genius idea of casting Palance as his boss. I also really liked Robert Wuhl and was sorry he wasn’t in the sequel. I’m a sucker for old-style wisecracking newspaper reporters.

    Oh, and completely agree on the score and the Prince songs. I hate it when music is shoved into a movie based on who they want to come see the picture, rather than what suits it.

  2. Klaus

    I recall really liking Batman a whole lot more when it initially came out. And while I was never fond of Prince’s contribution, I find that I like this movie less over the years.

  3. Anthony Lee Collins

    I need to see this again (and the second one, too).

    I remember when seeing one of the Indiana Jones movies (I think it was) and the trailer for Batman came on. I’ve never seen an audience go berserk for a trailer like that. As they say in Galaxy Quest, I though people were going to start eating each other. If you’d asked them (us), “Hey, do you want to see the Indiana Jones flick, or Batman?” I think it would have been unanimous for Batman.

    • Klaus

      Funny you mention that – I’d completely forgotten about the audience reaction for the Batman trailer – people were very pumped about its release.

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This entry was posted on 08/29/2010 by in 1001 List, 1980s, All and tagged .
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