Batman (1989)

Batman 1989 Movie Poster

Batman Quote: “I now do what other people only dream. I make art until someone dies. See? I am the world’s first fully functioning homicidal artist. ” – Joker

Sometimes, a podcast episode comes along and ruins your entire childhood. This recap of Tim Burton’s 1989 “Batman” is that episode. Give us an hour, and we’ll convince you Michael Keaton was a ridiculous Dark Knight, Jack Nicholson was an unoriginal Joker, and journalists really aren’t bad. On the bright side, Prince did put together a stellar soundtrack, and Kim Basinger is undeniably at the top of her game.

Plot Summary: “Batman Having witnessed his parents’ brutal murder as a child, millionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) fights crime in Gotham City disguised as Batman, a costumed hero who strikes fear into the hearts of villains. But when a deformed madman who calls himself “The Joker” (Jack Nicholson) seizes control of Gotham’s criminal underworld, Batman must face his most ruthless nemesis ever while protecting both his identity and his love interest, reporter Vicki Vale (Kim Basinger).

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2 Responses

  1. AUStarwars says:

    I do not disagree with your assessment of the movie itself, but there are lots of minor issues.

    1. The reason why you are “glad” that the one girl does not become Harley Quinn is because the animated series INVENTED Harley Quinn, so that is impossible anyway

    2. I cant fathom anyone NOT liking the Christian Bale trilogy so any comparison to that is going to be impossible. The fact is that both Frank Miller (mentioned) and The Animated Series reinvented the character of Batman, so this movie by definition is IMPOSSIBLE to look back on and compare to those (and the new trilogy, especially the Dark Knight)

    I guess what I am asking is while I love the podcast, you have to be careful with some of the comic book/sci fi stuff when you do not have the full history to rely on (in this case the changes to the Batman character overall in a pre and post Dark Knight Returns/Watchmen comic era). All the criticism is around “the character has always been” but that is simply not the case if you look at the comics basically up until TDKR, the Animated Series, etc. The character was “campy” for MOST of his history

    Again, I enjoy the podcast and the TV podcasts, I just think you have to be careful on the source material for some of them during this time frame

    • Gene Lyons says:

      Valid, but consider the entire point of the podcast: We’re looking at stuff we thought was cool when we were kids and deciding if it’s still cool now that we’ve grown up and seen other things.

      The 1989 Batman looks like shit BECAUSE we’ve seen a better Batman film franchise. We’re glad the Joker’s babe didn’t become Harley Quinn because we have seen a Harley Quinn on screen, and it’s dumb.

      Also, side note: Lots of Batman experts (including Brian Augustyn) hated the Christian Bale version of Batman. I personally loved it.

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