Bad Movie Beatdown (with Bennett The Sage) - Batman Returns

(229 votes, average 3.98 out of 5)
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Comments (198)
  • M.Seijin
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    I'm with Matthew on this one. Furthermore I think this film adheres to the principle that Spoony theorized in his Robowar review. That movies don't have to be good to be awesome. For all its problems, Batman Returns is an awesome Batman romp. It shows the caped crusader being awesome and the villains being villains. And by no means are my nostalgia goggles on while I'm typing this.

    That being said, Bennett White is an unapologetic fascist who is ungrateful to be alive.
  • Sewblon
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    How does not liking Tim Burton translate into being a fascist?
  • Tactlesscat
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    Yeah that confuses me too. I mean I'm pretty sure Kevin Smith isn't a fascist.
  • M.Seijin
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    He puts blame on this film and its fans for somehow "Doing harm to Batman". Much like how Hitler put unfair blame on Jews, Slavs, Gypsies, and Homosexuals for the economic decline of Germany.

    Of course this is but one example.
  • mrrubino
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    When you go unfunny, you prefer to slide sideways through it at about 100mph, don't you?
  • Evamarie41
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    Am I missing something? Did Sage burn Batman fans alive?
  • M.Seijin
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    With his words.
  • Sewblon
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    That is like saying that Spoony burned fans of Final Fantasy X alive when he reviewed it.

    Also, you just activated the first corollary of Godwin's Law.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Godwin%27s_law
  • ender1200
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    So you compare a movie critisisem you find too harsh to the holocaust?
    This is disrispecfull to it's victims, and i take offence to this.
  • mrrubino
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    Pull that hook out of your mouth. It looks undignified.
  • M.Seijin
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    No Ender, I compared an asshole to another asshole.
  • ToruKun1
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    Uh...that just makes it worse. If you're genuinely comparing Bennet to Hitler just because he dislikes Tim Burton, that's a really shit thing to do.
  • JaniceGhostHunter
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    Seriously, that was a terrible reference to make. My Mother spent time in a camp in the 40's and I don't know how many other family members died in the war itself. There are lot of people around who have that in their families on here, not just me, I'm sure. I don't think many people on here found it funny to begin with. I ask you to kindly refrain from making Holocaust referenes to a comic book movie, thank you very much.
  • M.Seijin
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    There was no joke being made with my comment, Ms. Janice. I'm sorry that you took it that way. All my sympathy goes to your mother and family. I was simply comparing an asshole to another asshole.
  • PurpleTiger
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    No, you were comparing a guy with an opinion about a movie to a guy who committed genocide against a very large number of individuals. The people who like Tim Burton will likely forget the one person on the internet who said bad things about Mr. Burton, move on with their lives, and never think of him again. The people who endured what happened at the hands of the Nazis and their families have either died as a result, have had their psyches torn into shreds, and will never, ever forget those atrocities.

    ...so what were the comparisons again? I'm confused.

    And by the way, the fact that you claim you WEREN'T joking doesn't make it better. It actually just might make it WORST.
  • M.Seijin
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    Make it worst? Great English.

    Also, opinion my ass! If you listen to Sage's tone, you'll see that he's completely convinced he's right about the things he says. The problem isn't him not liking Tim Burton, the problem is him not being able to enjoy something for what it is and pretty much saying that anyone who enjoyed it are scum and should die. You're right, maybe I shouldn't make insensitive and unfair comparisons to the Nazi party and the Holocaust. I'll give you that. But my point still stands that having such extremest and hostile viewpoints twards people who have done no harm to anyone (Unlike Michael Bay and his fucking fans) is no way to be. Living with hate in our heart will bring about the end of civilization.
  • sprezzatura
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    Whether Sage thinks he's right about it or not... it's still just that, an opinion. People have a right to like or dislike something as much as they want, and feel justified for doing so- no one's getting hurt by that. He didn't condemn Film Brain for not hating Burton, you might notice.

    Nobody's fighting here except you, dude. Chill the heck out, and leave the freaking Nazis out of it!
  • M.Seijin
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    Alrght! I admit it! I clinicaly insane! I had a bug up my ass when I watched this thing and I acted before thinking! Crucifie me, why don't ya!?
  • PurpleTiger
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    I'm only pointing this out because you pointed out my 'make it worst' comment. It's spelled "crucify". I hate people who decide to attack others' spelling and grammar on the internet, but fair is fair.

    And I know I shouldn't poke the poodle when it's apologized (I care not for how little sense that made), but I just want to point out that Bennet didn't "attack" anyone but Tim Burton. I don't recall him saying anything about the fans, though I welcome you to correct me if I'm wrong. Though you then attacked fans of Michael Bay right after saying that. You can say what you want about Bay, being as he's a money-grubbing murderer of my childhood, but what did his fans ever do other than endorse him? I can't say anything bad about that, because I saw all three TF movies, I OWN all three TF movies, and I regret nothing. They suck and he should be ashamed for making them, but I love them anyway.
  • M.Seijin
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    Well see, there's a big contrast there. Tim Burton is just weird for the sake of weird. Michael Bay and his movies promote racial insensitivity, insensitivity towards little people, insensitivity in general, jingoism, and ignorance. He invokes images of 9/11 and the challenger explosion in a movie based on a toy line. He depicts women as hunks of meat. He makes anti-social macho monkey douchbags the heroes of his movies. All these things he does and yet he still makes millions of dollars because he and several others have made the general public of this country retarded. He is the worst example of what America has to offer in terms of "film makers" and human beings. You should in fact be ashamed to own his Transformers trilogy. Because not only has bay shit on the transformers legacy, but he has shit on human decency.

    As for the spelling thing, yeah, I should've used spell check but I didn't. Just another example of my fading sanity as well as my boneheadedness.
  • PurpleTiger
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    The point isn't that you attacked Bay. He's a terrible human being, I'll never deny that. And I feel no shame owning those movies. They may be terrible movies, but they'll never make me love Transformers any less.

    The point is that you berated Bennett for "attacking" Tim Burton's fans, which I still don't remember him doing, then you attacked Michael Bay's fans, who did nothing wrong outside of being entertained by his stuff. It's simply hypocritical to berate something you then do yourself.
  • Sewblon
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    I know, from experience, that it is easy to get your pride entangled in discussions like this, but you are barely even on topic anymore. Let this discussion die. You had your chance to make your case, but you blew it.
  • Haon
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    This has gone way too far, so, seeing how appropriate my avatar is for what I'm about to say, imagine this being said in J.D.'s voice:

    I don't care whether what we disagree on is something little or enormous, but there is absolutely no reason to bring up a real tragedy that could really hurt someone else just to use as an analogy in our argument.
  • Thecrazyone1500
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    And you are a hypocrite
    this movie IS WHY THEY HIRED FUCKING SHOEMAKER
    so it actually WOULD do something, and if you don't mean fimic-ly , then what damage has bay done
  • Moogletosser
    Maybe? That isn't something you can just casually come close to apologize for and expect everything to be fine. You gotta give us a lot more than that.
  • Moogletosser
    Fascism gets misused all the time, but now you're going too far! Do you really believe there's even a slight comparison? If it's meant to be a joke, it isn't funny.

    I don't like Bennet either, but come on!
  • cvrpapc
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    uh...it doesn't. Tim Burton has become a boring sell out cobbmuncher who can't find someone to say "no" to his bad ideas that he will listen too.

    Batman returns. Was not a bad movie. IT was one guys adaptation of Batman. I think for what they had to work with it was amazingly sucessful. I liked it then, and I still do now.

    The problem is that people compare the "old" movies with Nolan's trilogy. They are not comparable. Totally different tone, totally different limitations, and completely different style. I like both because I recognize that Burton and Nolan were trying to accomplish different things. Burton was from outside the studio system and had been given his first BIG movie to direct BATMAN. I think it was amazing. I remember being blow away when I was just a kid seeing it in theaters. This was the first BIG comic book movie which took a superhero seriously since Superman in 1978.

    I agree BATMAN RETURNS had flaws. I think the film was effective for what it was trying to do. It was camp and didn't take itself to seriously. It was definately more about the tragic story of an outsider -- which Tim Burton has done about 100 times since. So perhaps were all a bit jaded now.

    I agree that for the most part that Tim Burton's recent movies have been lackluster.

    Come on christopher walken was hil-arious in this.
  • DudeMan
    How come everyone makes a big deal about the continuity error of Batman's eye makeup but completely ignores the sheer stupidity of him having to rip through his mask to get it off his head. That's stupid on so many levels I don't know where to begin.
  • abort_user
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    that always bugged me more. worst costume design ever. you shouldnt have to tear your mask off.
  • hordrisstheconfuser
    Pretty accurate, and you managed to put into words many of the things which left me feeling annoyed by this film. I honestly feel Batman Forever was better than this altogether, but that this one had better underlying concepts.
  • YotaruVegeta  - A cult movie?
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    This isn't a little film that's all but forgotten. This was a successful sequel

    Why is the penguin different? Adaptation. If he was carrying a cane instead of an umbrella, then I'd have a huge problem with it.

    Catwoman's origin here? Yeah, it is partly to blame for the Catwoman movie's stupidity, and it is stupid.

    Still, I don't consider this a bad movie. Some good points, but there's the usual nitpicking just for nitpicking's sake.
  • The Battousai
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    Adaptation is no excuse for the penguin in this movie. "No Man's Land" is a great example of what the character is and shows how completely wrong he was in this movie.
  • trlkly
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    An adaptation still has the same basic characters. It's just the other stuff that can change.

    This Penguin has nothing in common with the Penguin but superficial looks.
  • cannedfury
    Going to have to agree on the Penguin. The original character was such a contrived parody, nothing worthwhile was getting ruined. Design and concept-wise, he was the most out of place buffoon in the rogues gallery. There's a reason his niche became running businesses in the background; it's embarrassing to make Batman fight his crime.

    Ironically, DeVito in ridiculous makeup is far more convincing as a criminal fancying himself a gentleman. The Penguin was at his best in the cartoon when they were taking notes from that version. We all cringed when he reverted to tradition, and sure enough he'd never be part of a good story again.
  • TragicGuineaPig
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    But the BTAS version of the Penguin really only superficially resembled the DeVito character. Sure, they incorporated things like the giant sewer ducky and the weird deformed fingers, but they didn't run with the "raised by penguins in the sewers" thing (although they did give him what appeared to be a telepathic ability to communicate with birds). The BTAS version ACTED more like a gentleman; the DeVito version acted like a sewer-bred monster only slightly trying to gloss over his personality to be a gentleman.

    While the Penguin as a character across the board might not be that interesting himself, trying to make him have a demonic birth and a monstrous childhood really didn't help.

    I have to agree with sage on this: this story would have worked much better if this had been about Waylon Jones instead of Oswald Cobblepot.
  • BaltoStephenWinter  - Yes, Sage. Make FilmBrain review Erag- oh, it's Ba
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    If you're looking for an animated Batman series with a Penguin that carries the Danny DeVito portrayal, you should check out "The Batman."
    Did anyone else watch "The Batman" on kids WB? Yes, it was too lighthearted for a Batman show. The joker was made into a hippie with a voice that was too low and too high in scenes, Batman was made into a character that wanted to work with other people instead of having his brooding, cold, and solo attitude..
    but,
    Batman did keep his intimidating persona along with an arsenal of gadgets.
    Mr. Freeze's design was cool.
    The animation is decent.
    The voice acting was excellent.
    Cat Woman was sexy, but then again she's always sexy isn't she?
  • PurpleTiger
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    Hey, another person who liked The Batman! I thought we were an endangered species, lol.
  • youjik33
    I never saw Batman Returns (for some reason... I think partly because the first one scared the crud out of me when I was 7). But I really appreciate Matt admitting, even though he liked the first one, that parts of it haven't aged well. I rewatched it on AMC a while back and was very disappointed in a lot of it. (I disagree about Michael Keaton though. I think he was a great Batman but a really awkward Bruce. I... actually really liked Val Kilmer though, which I realize is not the popular opinion XD)
  • Carteeg_Struve
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    I remember seeing this movie in the theater, and I walked out very conflicted. If they had dumped the Penguin and focused on the Catwoman story (regardless of how inaccurate to the source material it was), the movie could had been salvaged.

    A decade later my wife-to-be summed it up perfectly by analyzing to one scene in the film. The sequence with Bruce and Selena at the party. The conflict and chemistry between the two draws you in, especially when watching Selena's own problems with mounting insanity. The question she asked of whether they had to now fight might had been a partial joke, but it hit to the heart of the matter. He was starting to lead her out of the party for a conversation that 'could' collapse into a fight, or it 'could' resolve their conflict, or it could go somewhere in between.

    This question of what was going to happen was all of the tension the movie needed at this point, and although Shreck acted as a factor to get that storyline going, that's all he needed to do. He was the bad-guy of the film needed to put Selena on her quest for revenge and track towards insanity. But it's the conflict/romance of Selena and Bruce that should had been the main focal point of the film.

    But then the dumbest thing hits (as my wife-to-be pointed out). Penguin shows up and prevents that talk outside from taking place. He doesn't just derail the party of the Bruce/Selena sequence. He derails the entire movie the audience wanted to see. And everything goes to shit. The Penguin shouldn't be there!

    *sigh* Mathew nailed it. There're good ideas, but they're crowded out by the slew of bad ones.

    As for Burton... this was the first major strike I had against him. Up until then, he gave us Beetlejuice, Batman, etc. Yeah, the "no kill" policy is gone. But considering he was going for a darker tone to purge out the thoughts of the Adam West show, that was a "mistake" I actually agree with. It was an over-reaction to give us the tone we've been missing. So, yeah. No complaints.

    As for Burton's later disasters, I agree. He has no ability to adapt other people's works. I loved the Humor-Gothic tone back when I was in my early teens, but at least then that set him apart from everyone else at the time. Now... it's old and it isn't done very well. Burton is now a shallow mockery of himself, and it started with Batman Returns.

    That said - you will NEVER get me to believe that "Joel" understood Batman more than Burton (however much I want Burton punched in the nose). Hell, I'll even say that Frank Miller in his insanity years understood Batman (aka Crazy Steve) more than that hack. Joel Schumacher tried to return the series to the Adam West era. It was less than 5 minutes into Batman Forever when I realized I was embarrassed to be in the theater. So no. No. NO! Bennet, that comment was fighting words.

    GET HIM, FILM BRAIN!
  • TragicGuineaPig
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    Something that a lot of people forget: the original Bob Kane Batman actually carried a gun and killed people.
  • Wario_man
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    and Darkseid was robbed by average human muggers and Thanos was arrested by normal police officers and put in a normal jail cell. We've moved on from bad comics and bad decisions. We know they're there, we just try to ignore them and never bring them up again.
  • Rue_Ryuzaki2
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    Oh man I understand you guys points about this movie. there aspects of the movie that didnt bothered me. but there are others that just made me go why. like the portrayal of the penguin, Walkens character being seen as the main villain but then not at times or even how gotham is set up. Not to mention the interesting directions that could have been fun to see but not because tim just went off into his world. Yeah Sage was right about him having full creative control over something without someone to show objection. He made films I like others I dont. Guess thats Tim for ya lol.
    Good review guys.
  • Toug
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    Said it before and I'll say it again.

    Batman Returns is the worst Batman movie. No contest.
  • Trekkie313
    The world hates you.
  • Carteeg_Struve
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    Yeah. I try to deny the existence of "Batman Forever" and "Batman and Robin" too.
  • neytari
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    I love this movie. I can't help it. But I love it while knowing it's flawed (though I wouldn't go so far as to say it's a guilty pleasure) and I easily see how people could dislike it. But then, I've yet to see a Tim Burton movie I don't like or love *shrugs*

    Catwoman...ohmygod....Any hope of me being straight died the moment I saw her.
  • Psychicllamakiller
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    ....batman returns is honestly my favourite live-action batman film. i'm not a huge fan of tim burton, but i love batman returns, flaws and all. and catwoman...dayum O.o
  • GernBlanston
    Yup. This movie is messy, nonsensical and heavily flawed - and I love it.

    For me, this isn't supposed to be remotely realistic, this is a straight up fantasy. It's an Elseworlds/Grimms' Fairy Tale take on these characters.

    When the opening scene is a baby being thrown into a lake and discovered by penguins, that's basically the movie drawing a line the sand, saying, "This is a fairy tale, don't look for logic or reason here. You're either with this or you know this is not for you. Those of you that are in, let's go."

    Don't really get Sage's complaint about Burton not understanding Batman. Everyone has their own takes on the character, even the comic writers. Hell, I really enjoy Nolan's movies, but Batman in those is a distorted version as well, made to fit the stories he wanted to tell.

    The closest Batman from page to screen is the Animated Series/Mask of The Phantasm/DC Animated Universe version.

    Then again, maybe I could understand Sage's frustration. I love Spider-Man and absolutely despised that they turned him into a brooding, a-hole skateboarder in Amazing Spider-Man. So maybe I could see where he's coming from. Also, if Sage didn't care for how this movie dropped plotlines, I hope he was as livid about how Amazing Spidey dropped them left and right, including the hunt for Ben's killer.

    I actually think this movie is a far better exploration of Batman's psyche than Batman Forever's on-the-nose take. It explored the various facets through Shreck, Penguin and Catwoman with some genuine subtlety (for a not very subtle movie) and actually presents no easy answers compared to Forever just having Batman practically turn to the camera and say "I'm Bruce Wayne and Batman!" in case the audience was too dumb to pick up on that.

    This movie is ridiculous, but it's that rare movie that has a sense of humor about itself without falling apart. It's self-effacing, but not to the extent of the Schumacher flicks where everything is campy and all the actors are dialed up to 11 in the over-the-top department.

    This movie is a mess, but it might actually be less of a mess than Dark Knight Rises (which I liked but let's face it, it is a huge mess).

    For me, this movie was a breath of fresh air. At the time, it had high ambitions, it dared not to be a by-the-numbers, generic tentpole blockbuster. It actually tried to do something different. It isn't a lazy pastiche of cookie-cutter tropes. There is nothing in here that is rote and predictable. It is its own thing. I honestly have no idea how anyone could prefer Batman Forever to this. I might actually prefer this to the 89 flick, but, hey, I like rooting for an underdog.

    It shot for the stars and missed. But I enjoyed the ride anyway. I'll take something that takes risks, has big ideas, and tries something new even if it doesn't quite stick the landing.
  • Louiscipher  - Actually
    I really like Batman Returns despite it's silliness. I can get someone not liking it, I understand that. But what does work in this film really works. The Penguin's twisted origin, the Danny Elfman score, the cinematography, the set design, Michael Keaton, the ghoulish and semi-camp yet semi-wacko Dr. Caligari (1989) tone.

    That works. I think Batman Returns really works if you look at it like an Opera. If you let the music and the aesthetic of the film guide you it can be really fun and even moving at times.
  • rowdycmoore
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    I did think it was supposed to be implied that Selina did die from the original fall and that the cat's bite saved her by infecting her with cat DNA to give nine lives or some crap. It sounded pretty stupid then, and it is delivered so poorly that now I really don't know if that's true or that Sage is right about her just being delusional.

    But amazingly, I gotta go with Sage on this. I actually enjoyed Batman Forever. Heck, for all its flaws, at least Batman & Robin KNEW it was campfest.You nailed it in that it tried to be dark but had too much ridiculousness in it.
  • Joshism
    This review is amazing just for properly using the term "defenestration".
  • Semudara
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    I loved that part. XD
  • Trekkie313
    SAGE how could you?
  • CommonThinking123
    Did you even watch the review? If you had youd know FB countered the argument as he enjoyed the film. As it is, you've made yourself look like a complete butt hurt asshole so fuck you very much, take your ball and fuck off.
  • coolrock92  - Trivia
    Actually sage, not to be a troll but in the earlier comics Batman did kill people in fact, he actually owned a gun
  • rowdycmoore
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    Well, yeah that's true, but it's been mostly hand waved now because, like with many fictional characters, the persona of Batman took time to fully develop and be firmly established. Superman also went through a lot of changes in the early years. Bottom line is that by the 1980s, it was firmly established that Batman doesn't kill.
  • brick mooncode
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    Batman rarely kills, but only because he rarely has to, given his abilities. Even Superman kills in certain situations (Doomsday is a notable example). Batman doesn't use guns, because they were used to kill his parents.
  • coolrock92
    Oh ok so that it didnt offened parents and stuff? interesting how super man went through that as well. im not rlly a super man guy but he's pretty cool. if u dont mind me asking what were his changes?
  • ThatDudeInTheUshanka
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    Yes he did, four decades before this movie was released. There has been a lot of change over the years and some stuff can just be placed on early installment weirdness.
  • elelgood90
    I really enjoyed this review. I remember this movie as a kid(more so than I remember the first one sadly) and I hated the Penguin. I just thought he was unpleasant. Especially when he bit the guy's nose. It terrified me when I first watched it. The only part that I remembered liking was Catwoman, only I don't think I ever got through enough of the movie to see her become good.
  • XpixelatedX
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    Batman... is kind of a boring character. People often say everyone likes batman for the villains, and I am certainly one of those people. So you can see why this movie didn't fail for me. I knew what the penguin was supposed to be like, but I like the "horrible monster" version much better. I think this movie would have been boring as hell if the penguin was just a rich guy with loose morals. That seems like such a silly villain for something as strange as Batman.
    The dialog was indeed silly at some parts, but not as silly as the third movie. You can't even begin to compare ANYTHING said in this movie with 2 minutes of Jim Carrey stupidity. That third movie is like nails on a chalk bored from start to finish. I understand why you guys didn't like this movie as much as some of us, but at some point you were so eager to look for nitpicks you missed the obvious answer to the questions you asked. For example: the swarm of bats that attack the penguin at the end. It had to do with that thing the penguin was holding, it called them to him.

    While I do think it isn't a cinematic masterpiece, there is something to be said for an interesting freakshow. I wouldn't have had this movie any other way. The only point you guys brought up that I feel just as strongly about was Gotham. Gotham was pretty small and boring in this movie.
  • Semudara
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    Batman really isn't a boring character if done right, nor is Superman. There's a lot of latent depth there that a good writer can really use to the story's advantage.

    That said, the villains do tend to produce the most interesting stories, and that's A-ok.
  • Dacilriel
    Burton is kind of hit-or-miss. I agree that he's made some really bad movies, but he's made some really good ones as well. And like Film Brain said, even when he's not on the ball he at least produces something interesting.

    I like Batman Returns, though I agree with your assessment of a lot of the problems. The reason I like it is simple: Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle. Pfeiffer and Keaton both give great performances, and their on-screen chemistry is excellent. If the main focus had been on developing their relationship it would have been a great movie. As it is, just a handful of short scenes together simply didn't cut it.
  • Dust
    He's just not the kind of director who should do adaptions, since he always ends up ignoring the source material for his own ideas. (Okay, Sleepy Hollow worked, but the story's ten minutes long and got a set-piece nod in the movie.)

    Maybe Batman directors just need a one-movie limit, since their follow-ups drop the ball. (Yeah, Nolan managed two but DKR 'fixed' that by being abysmal.)
  • cosmosblue772
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    Yeah it has been a while since I have seen this movie, and whoa does it look terrible. But I have to admit to liking Tim Burton, in his earlier career, like his Pee-Wee Herman movie, Ed Wood, Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, and Sleepy Hollow stage. Nowadays, with the exception of Sweeney Todd, he really sucks. He really has no respect for his audience's intelligence it seems, and like so many other directors has taken a very lazy route and CGI the fuck out of everything.

    His style is very unique but it can be very annoyingly over the top, and here it doesn't work at all. Sure I liked Burton's first Batman attempt, even if it had flaws, it still was a nice mix of dark mood and campy fun. That I actually prefer over not only Schumacher, big shock there : P, but also Nolan. Trust me people I tried to like Nolan's Batman, but if Schumacher's Batman was way too campy and silly, Nolan's Batman was taken way too seriously as the series progressed. And Bale's Batman voice didn't help matters either.

    Plus to be fair to Burton's first Batman movie it did lead to Batman: The Animated Series, and the awesome memories it gave us. So some good came out of this debacle, when you think about it.
  • ManWithGoodTaste
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    Now, before I watch this, just wanna say that I think the movie kicks ass, and is one of the best stealth Christmas movies out there.

    And then I watch your video.
  • 94MICK19
    I hate Bennett, He's put down an excellent singer like Phil Collins and now he's putting down one of my favourite directors. I don't care what they say Batman Returns to me is the best live-action Batman movie, screw the Nolan Trilogy those were not Batman movies to me. Please do not take this personally this is only my opinion

    PS I know that is only Bennett's opinion but... damn
  • Wario_man
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    I don't care much for Phil Collins but that's mainly because his stuff with Tarzan never sat right with me and I've never gotten over it.
    I honestly don't care much for ANY of the Batman live action films. I don't think any of them have gotten it right and the only reason I'm looking forward to Man of Steel now is because Amy Adams is in it. They really missed the mark by refusing to tie it in with a Justice League film down the line but there's always next time I guess.
    My dream Batman movie would have Alec Baldwin as Batman and Joseph Gordon Levitt (I know, but I had that dream BEFORE that happened) as Robin and a toned down (sort of) Carey as the Joker but an actual threat. Now that Nolan has more or less finished with it the franchise in film could go any way now.
  • Semudara
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    Jim Carrey as the Joker?

    That...could actually be really good, but I have a feeling it would be a little too similar to Nicholson's version. Not that that's a bad thing, just that people seem to like getting something really NEW with each Joker.
  • BizarroGeek
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    Just for the record, for everything Tim Burton does right in this film (which, in his defence, is a fair amount of things) he also makes the biggest no-no in Modern Batman 101: he has Batman kill people. Repeatedly. Often smiling when he does it.

    I'm just saying; Batman killing people was a thing that happened in the 'forties, and ended in the 'forties. It is NOT something the character does.
  • Steve Potter
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    THANK YOU. I hate this movie as well.
  • Moon Spirit
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    I don't care. I still love this movie. This still is better than any of Joel Schumacher's Batman movies, period.
  • Mr. Ellaneous  - Mmmmmmeeeeeh....
    Clearly Bennett is a big fan of the comics(and a major detractor of Burton), and I think those two aspects of his persona are driving the car, so to speak. Never mind that a lot of the symbolism(of which FB has generally been cognizant of in the past) is largely ignored here, but honestly...

    ...Burton is correct: Batman is the least interesting thing about Batman.

    To be honest, the only reason it's called "Batman" anymore is because he's the only common thread to the stories told. There's nothing Batman really has to offer the story. The readers are pretty much aware of his story, so there's little mystery as to who he is or what his motivations are. His psyche has been explored to death and honestly doesn't offer many opportunities for any novelty. And... well...

    Batman himself is a boring guy. He is fairly single-minded in his pursuits, with the exception of Alfred and the city of Gotham itself there's little that hangs in the balance for him at any given time, there's no real fear that anything irreparably bad will ever happen to Batman. In turn he is surrounded by colorful, mysterious, outrageous and compelling villains whose psyches are so fragile and whose motivations are so obfuscated by their grandiosity that they can remain interesting and their sheer number prevents them from being played out, unlike Batman.

    I actually liked the Burton batman movies, because they are the only movies that remember the two most important things about Batman:

    1. Batman is a comic book.
    2. Batman has a somber tone punctuated with ridiculousness.

    The Chris Nolan movies are good, in fact arguably the best thing Batman has ever done(I'll get to that in a second), but they trade on that by being so utterly grounded in reality that they abandon a lot of the suspension of disbelief that Burton et al took full advantage of.

    The reason the Nolan trilogy is the best thing Batman ever did was:
    A. It covered the vast majority of the themes that every single fucking comic about Batman has beaten into the ground in a way that was effective and brief.
    B. It gave depth to its villains and managed to give a few unique interpretations of the comics.
    C. It gave a conclusive ending to the Bruce Wayne story arc. Bruce Wayne just keeps being Batman in almost every other telling of the Batman mythos, which is, honestly, just the most painfully dull and monotonous notion I've ever had to entertain.

    Bottom line: Bennett and FB had good points but the former let his preconceptions cloud his judgement and the latter... well, had fairly reasoned opinions. The movie just obviously didn't do it for him, which is fine and dandy.
  • Gift of the Magi
    avatar
    Effective and brief? Maybe, but Nolan did it by neutering Batman into a generic thug and focusing way too much on his damage.

    Personally, I can barely consider the Nolan films to be Batman stories. In some ways, he has more contempt for comics and the character than this film showed. Instead of showing the intellect and detective skills of Batman (always his key and greatest strength), he created a near-sociopathic thug with tanks and flying saucers that destroyed more of Gotham than any of the villains, and solved 'cases' by hitting people.

    If you can guess, I only liked Batman Begins. the next two films are crap, pure and simple

    I do like on comment in this review. Keaton is the ONLY actor to get the perfect balance of Wayne and Batman, and he does it so subtly and completely that at points, it seems like two different people...and yet connected. And all with what seems like minimum effort. West was for laughs, Kilmer got Batman right and Wayne wrong, and Clooney had the opposite problem. Bale? Well...he kinda did ok with Wayne at first, but then in the next two films got all emo and mopey, wasting time dialoguing his emotions and problem instead of SHOWING THEM. His Batman...wasn't good. The voice was awful, the mannerisms were off and although this was not his fault the fight scenes and costume was terrible.

    Keaton wins...now let's get that reboot going....
  • JoeDawson15  - Come on!!
    I'm so sick of people bashing this film!!! I don't mean to sound like an asshole here, but i'm tired of people like Sage here (Who i gotta say is one of the weakest links on the site as well), but i will give him Alice and Apes, but i have hope for Frankenweenie.) but Batman Returns does have a "patchy script" as Matthew said it about Burton's film projects. I love both his Bat films, Nightmare before Christmas with the great Henry Salick, Edward Scissorhands, and Big Fish, and maybe Charlie and Sleepy Hollow. Batman Returns did not scare me, although at the time i was 3, and was a little freaked out by DeVito's brillaint Penguin job. I love the art design, feel and perfomances by all involved, and yes i will say Batman is not in it as needed maybe, i like the way his prensence (at least for me) is felt though, and sometimes he works better without being over analyzed in depth.
  • executor
    avatar
    Absolutly. And I think Bennet has the most ludicrous Nickname. "The Sage"? Yeah, more like "Bizarro Sage". Instead of thoughtfull and wise, he nearly all the times fells like a guy who really should do some research and should as well should read/look more into the things he comments about. Like someone whos argumentation and opinion is very spontanious without thinking about it or trying to fundament it further with... anything. Like all the "this is so weird" comments in the (pretty bad) "Anime Abandon"-Series, where he for some reason can't be bothered to read a book or two (or, hell, even some wikipedia-sites) about Japanese culture to not come off as ignorant as he does now. Urg, I REALLY don't like that...

    And why is it getting popular all of a sudden to bash "Batman Returns" so much? Granted, it was a very "different" take on the Batman, but Nolans take was as well. There are so much possibel interpretations of the theme, that "Batman Returns" and "The Dark Knight Rises" are nearly two complete opposites in the way how you could interpret the character.
    And Joel Schumachers "understanding" of "the batman" was pretty terrible. I remember a quote, where he was asked why his batman movies don't have as much drama as the others. His answer: "They are called 'comic books', not 'drama books'!" What an idiot!
  • LordDico
    Bennett's never gotten my interest, and probably won't. And for him to say this films on par or worse than Schumacher's films, then THAT'S too far.

    I understand it's all opinion, but if he's just going to complain about almost every single detail, then he's on the said who can't just sit back and just look at the film as it is, then goes and just sucks Nolan's dick on his Batman films, that changed as much stuff, if not more.

    Not only that, but if people want to know how a fan feels about "Batman Returns," I think this video explains it very well: http://blip.tv/ myhouseproductions/film- master-favorites-batman- returns-1991-6336719
  • Desotowright
    avatar
    For my money, it's really the climax that drags this movie down, it's ugly, mean, cruel, unpleasant and empty, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who feels that way. Even if it is a big jumbled mess, it is enjoyable for its merits. Great review and a great closing song. And oh yes, Tim Burton needs to take a break from remakes and give his wife and Helena Bonham Carter a rest.
  • dps
    Ugly, mean, cruel, unpleasant and empty? You just summed up Tim Burton's career.

    Well, no, that's not fair. I tend to dislike Burton's films because I look at him as a fairly extreme example of style over substance. He definately does have a distinct visual style, but it's a style I find ugly and unpleasant. Some of his early stuff I agree did have some substance under the style, but as time went on, IMO there came to be less and less substance and just empty style.
  • RJ Dalton
    avatar
    The thing about this movie that makes it not work is the Batman mythos. If you took the original idea and removed all reference to Batman, it would have worked. Oh, and taking out the terrible action scenes, which Burton sucks at directing, and just stick to the character play between the freak in the sewers and the evil businessman trying to take advantage of him.
    Imagine what this movie had been if it had been an original script instead of an adaptation. A freak abandoned by his parents because of his physical deformities tries to rejoin humanity with the help of a businessmen, who then uses him as a part of his plot to allow his business to continue to operate free from government oversight. He gets abused and, when the plan ultimately fails, tossed aside just at the moment when he almost begins to believe that perhaps he is capable of being respected and that people may not be so bad. The betrayal drives him insane and he tries to destroy the society that spurned and abused him only to be killed. With the details of that properly filled in, that would have been an excellent movie.

    Fucking hate Tim Burton. He has a brilliant visual style as a director, but he cannot write for shit, does not know how to tell the difference between a good script and a bad script and all of his movies are examples of great ideas ruined by slipshod and haphazard presentation. He apes at being dark, but rarely does so in a way that keeps a consistent tone or has any level of depth to it.
  • Jezzy54
    avatar
    Batman arbitrarily killed some of the thugs in the '89 movie, too. That, plus Joel Schumacher are why I hate all the Batman movies until Nolan came in.
  • thorondragon
    can definantly see a bit o the burton ego here. but the movie is not that horrendous besides. think his biggest mistake was making the batmobile omnipotent. but that is just me. thoug hof course batman would have multiple things prepared for whatever may happen. he is a genius, an inventor, chemist, and of course detective.

    i can definantly see both your points, but you are actually entirely wrong about penguin here, when ti came to his death scene. a man with his stunted physiology and from such of height, it would be a very fatal plunge. water is more than capable of killing you by simply impacting against it. if yo ufall wrong or from too high, like one does falling thirty feet side first into the water, it will break something inside of you and possibly be fatal. that is why he was bleeind out of his mouth and nose, as he had suffered fatal internal trauma from the fall.

    and the very least, his death was very logical.
  • bpmct82  - Still better the the Nolan ones...
    avatar
    I'll take having to wait a little bit for Batman, then have him sound like he can't poop. The first two films are a lot of fun. Same can not be said for the new snooze fests...
  • ColeYote
    avatar
    Okay, I'm only a few seconds in and I already have to comment. Safe says thus far, Matthew had avoided him. Nope. Sucker Punch crossover with JO.
  • TragicGuineaPig
    avatar
    Has anyone thought about the fact they name Walken's character "Max Schreck"? The name of the guy who played in "Nosferatu"?

    Here's the thing I hate about this movie: The Penguin and Catwoman are two of Batman's most mundane villains. The Penguin is basically just a regular mobster with fancy umbrellas, and Catwoman is just a really agile jewel thief. To take these two and give them gruesome and unnatural origins? It doesn't make much sense.
  • Film Brain
    avatar
    We did actually reference that, but we cut it for time.
  • TragicGuineaPig
    avatar
    You'd think that little factoid would be more widely addressed, though. It's not like the name is a common one. And its connection to horror movie history would be the kind of thing Burton would know anyway. So there has to be some significance there. (Maybe because he's a blood-sucking businessman, or maybe a hint he's supposed to be a monster, or some sort of roundabout connection to bats).

    Little known fact: he was going to use that stolen energy to build the world's largest cowbell. (BA-DOOM TSSH!)

    By the way, FB, I like that your character is more assertive in this crossover.
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