With six Batman movies now in circulation, its time for me to dissect and rank several things about each movie. First up, the films themselves. I'll be covering the next subjects in subsequent posts. (For clarity's sake, the rankings will go from best to worst, kay?)
Part One: The films
1. Batman (the original, 1989). Everything about this one just worked for me. Gotham City actually felt like it was straight out of a comic book with its gothic, grandiose buildings and over-the-top architecture. The Joker's colorful wardrobe...genius (and also totally comic book-ish). Prince's soundtrack...also genius. I believed Kim Basinger as Vicki Vale and Michael Keaton and Batman. It's a classic Tim Burton flick that brought the comic version of Batman to life on the big screen for the first time. As with most series, the first film is generally the best and this one is no exception. For my money, you just can't beat this flick.
2. The Dark Knight (2008). This one came damn close to acing out the original for my fave. Its just visually amazing, but the least comic-y of them all. I love that it's shot in Chicago and that I could recognize most of the locations, although the fact that I could recognize places like Lower Wacker kinda took away from the idea that I was supposed to be looking at Gotham. But Heath Ledger's performance pretty much made up for all the scenery shortcomings. And, oh yeah, the story's a total mindfuck, too. So many layers of deep meaning to be debated over drinks at 2am...
3. Batman Begins (2005). Christian Bale as Batman....mmmmm. This one was SUPER creep-tastic and dark and, sadly, a little hard to follow the first time around. The flashbacks are all over the place, but if you find that they didn't really make sense, watch it again. It's good. VERY good. This one also sets up and introduces a lot of the characters that appear in The Dark Knight.
4. Batman Forever (1995). Not gonna lie, the story is bordering on lame, but two people make the movie for me: Jim Carrey and Val Kilmer. Both give really convincing performances (Ok, so I'm a Val Kilmer loving FOOL and I might be a little biased. SO?!) and manage to entertain despite the flimsy plot. Still, its visually amusing, though not even close to believable.
5. TIE between Batman and Robin (1997) and Batman Returns (1992). Although I LOVE Michael Keaton as Batman, George Clooney was a *joke*. Further bringing down both movies: Chris O'Donnell as Robin and Michelle Pfeiffer as the Catwoman. Lame and lamer. And The Governator? Are you kidding me?!?! I really can't find much redeeming about either of these, although Danny DeVito's Penguin, while disgusting, was well done. Meh.
Of course, these are just my opinions. If you disagree, feel free to post your thoughts in the comments.
I'll be back tomorrow to discuss Batman himself...and who portrayed the Caped Crusader best.