Lebowskidoo 🍿📽🍿🎬🍿’s review published on Letterboxd:
"Is there a six foot bat operating in Gotham City?"
I can't even begin to tell you just how freaking cool this movie was in 1989. Up until Tim Burton gave us this modern take on the superhero movie, Batman was considered a joke. Even Superman had become one too, with the release of a poorly received fourth movie. So, the anticipation was high. I, and many other comic fans, were already wearing the famous black T-shirt with the Batman insignia months in advance. Some people were confused by it and thought it was some weird yellow mouth design. Where had they been all their lives to not know of Batman? Tim Burton came along to change all that. Pretty sure this movie did a lot to increase Batman's fame, and rightly so.
"You wanna get nuts? Come on! Let's get nuts!"
By now, we've seen a lot more of Batman, he's been crowned the king of movie superheroes, with more movies about him than any other, winning a few Oscars along the way too. Tim Burton's grand production was the birth of this entire Batman movement, and so, deserves our respect. Does it seem "dated" now? Yes, because it was made decades ago, movies are capable of so much more now, and we've had even greater Batman movies since. Do I have a problem with this movie appearing to be "dated" at all? No, and I hate the use of that word as a negative way of describing anything. Movies are a product of the times they were made in, it's simply impossible for any movie to not seem out of date eventually. You learn to love them for the time capsules they are. In 1989, this movie was, quite simply, da bomb!
"You ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?"
Michael Keaton, at first, seemed like a weird choice for Batman, but he quickly won everyone over. Jack Nicholson was too perfect as The Joker. He seemed to be just playing Jack Nicholson at times, but then did some brilliant thing here and there to really bring it on home, that this guy was completely devoid of human kindness, and plenty evil. And he did it all with a smile!
Tim Burton was such a unique choice to make this movie, and it's now a little scary to think what might have happened in the hands of a less creative director. We owe him for his grand vision of Batman and Gotham City.
"Haven't you ever heard of the healing power of laughter?"
The Prince songs are mostly not that intrusive. "Scandalous" plays over the end credits, which is a pretty horny track, and seems like it might belong in some Adrian Lyne movie at the time instead. This is where "Batdance" should have been, which went on to be a hit but you barely hear within the movie. These songs are what caused the big riff between Prince and Warner Bros. and resulted in Prince changing his name to a symbol for a decade or so.
"Wait till they get a load of me!"
Danny Elfman is the real superhero, man, that score is majestic and timeless!
"Never rub another man's rhubarb!"
Batman was finally given his respect with this movie. An Oscar winning actor like Nicholson lent some dignity, the production design and costumes dropped jaws in theaters everywhere, and people got to see Batman in action the way us comic fans always knew he was capable of. If you're not a fan of superhero movies, you can blame this movie as well, this is the epicenter of all that followed.
"If you gotta go, go with a smile!"