Batman ★★★★★

As someone born in 1983, this was my generation's Star Wars. Sadly, six year old me was too young to catch it at the cinema but sure as shit the minute it arrived on VHS, I was overwhelmed by Tim Burton's vision of Gotham City and its inhabitants. That, coupled with Danny Elfman's iconic, rousing score, crept into my dreams and nightmares as a comic book came to life on screen.

Besides a certain era of Batman, I don't know DC comics from shit. I've never been a Superman guy and the latest run of DCEU flicks couldn't grab me the way Burton and Keaton's dynamic duo of movies have. It's a shame Burton has become some kind of dancing monkey for the organ grinders at Disney. According to Letterboxd the last time I watched this film was five years ago on DVD. This time around it was a 4k digital copy and good lord, I was could've cried.

The perfect storm of professional artists. From costumes, set design, props, score, soundtrack, miniatures, animation, matte paintings, vehicle design, actors, lighting, sound engineers... you name it. There isn't an element of this film I'd alter. The fact that Jack Nicholson wasn't nominated for an Academy Award is a mad shame (although that guy is laughing all the way to the bank).

There's a lot said about how over the last decade, Hollywood has weaponised nostalgia. Studios have this misguided idea that giving the audience exactly what they think they want in a franchise entry (I'm looking at you, The Rise of Skywalker, you colossal piece of shit) is to create something new, meaningful and long lasting. Real nostalgia is about gazing upon something and knowing it can never be as it once was. My experience watching Tim Burton's Batman is a wistful, aching one. I would give my left nut to see him direct Keaton in a third Batman flick but I know it'll never be. That even if by some miracle it did happen, that time has passed and it just wouldn't be the same.

I'm OK with this.

We'll be discussing Batman '89 on the Sudden Double Deep podcast on the Thursday 21st May episode. Come check us out!


Daryl liked this review