“I am vengeance, I am the night, I am Batman!”

Imagine you’re on a date and just leaving the midnight showing of Skyfall. It’s dark, cold, and you’re walking to your car. As the crowd disperses, a few men start walking behind you as you walk across the empty parking lot. As you get closer and closer to your car, you notice the group is walking faster and getting awkwardly close to you two and your car is the only one is sight. As you go to open the door they push you against the car and demand for you money and pull out a knife. You fumble and pull out your cash, dropping it on the ground. There’s a whoosh of material and sound of struggle. You look up and the thieves are on the ground writhing in pain. You notice in the corner a dark figure and you lock onto eye starring back at you. You turn your head to look at your date and next thing you know, whatever was there is gone. Could it be? Is it really? I had to be… Batman…

Batman originally appeared in the 1930’s and was known to have the comedic “BOOM! POW” with Adam West. Tim Burton’s Batman now takes a darker spin filled with Prince being played in the background and sets up the Batman Anthology that ran into the late 90’s.

If you’re looking to find the backstory of how Batman is developed, this isn’t the movie for you. You are immediately immersed into action with the bad guys fearing “The Bat!”

Bruce Wayne may look like a pushover, but rest assured, this glasses wearing, tuxedo sporting millionaire has deep hatred in his blood for those evil-doers and his solution is a  glove covered back fist! Played by Michael Keaton, who starred in Gung Ho and was fresh from another famous Tim Burton film, Beetlejuice, had the right attitude and innocence to pull of the role.

Jack Napier, who is turned into Joker, is played by Jack Nicholson. Being known more for his role in The Shining, Nicholson is able to play the nuisance role superbly

Accompanied by the BEAUTIFUL Vicky Vale, Kim Basinger, this movie is able to not only pit Batman versus Joker to save Gotham, but the damsel in distress. Just like all the movies from the 80’s, this one has the potential to make your night at home just as nostalgic.

Make sure to check this out and see what inspired the Batman Animated Series.

 

Why So Serious?

After viewing the 1989 Batman starring Michael Keaton last night (which was a trial by the way–Amazon Instant Video and I are seeing other people) I started to compare Jack Nicholson’s take on the Joker to Heath Ledger’s.

Perhaps I am simply biased towards Nolan’s trilogy, which is, in my humble opinion, one of the best super-hero movie franchises ever created—but the character Nicholson portrays, while certainly deranged, leaves something to be desired. Take the creation of the Joker for example. I find it difficult to believe that a run-of-the-mill gangster can become ten times as psychotic—not to mention pasty— as a result of falling into a vat of mysterious green liquid. Ledger’s character, though he never gives a precise account of where exactly his scars came from, leaves viewers completely convinced of his psychological instability. Whether this Joker’s tortured psyche stems from parental abuse or a failed marriage, Ledger’s character always leaves me wanting to put my hands in the air and say, “Okay, buddy.  I got it. Just don’t kill me.”

Another reason I find myself favoring Nolan’s Joker is the rivalry that the director develops between Batman and the classic villain. There are two almost identical scenes in both the 80s Batman and The Dark Knight. In Batman, the Joker stands with his arms wide, willing the “flying bastard,” to come closer. In this scene, Batman flies directly at his enemy, fully prepared to kill him. Similarly, the only reason the Joker wants to engage the caped crusader is to pull out a ridiculously huge gun and deal a fatal blow. In The Dark Knight, a similar scene takes on an entirely different dynamic. In this scene, the Joker stumbles down the street, randomly shooting a machine gun muttering, “Come on, come on I want you to do it. Hit me. Hit me!” This scene functions so differently due to the backstory of both characters—Bale’s Batman, with his “one rule” against taking life, cannot bring himself to hit the Joker, however much he might want to. The Joker knows this, and continually challenges Batman to break his moral code. It seems, particularly in this scene, that he wants to be the first casualty of Batman’s war against organized crime in Gotham. The surface enmity of Nicholson and Keaton simply cannot compete with the ethical, “battle for Gotham’s soul,” of The Dark Knight .