After a young boy witnesses his parents' murder on the streets of Gotham City, he grows up to become the Batman, a mysterious figure in the eyes of Gotham's citizens, who takes crime-fighting into his own hands. He first emerges out of the shadows when the Joker appears -- a horribly disfigured individual who is out for revenge on his former employer and generally likes to have a good time, but the identity of the `bat' is unknown. Perhaps millionaire Bruce Wayne and photographer Vicki Vale have a good chance of finding out? (officiële tekst van distribiteur)


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Engels Burton gives the impression of a man who is on his home turf, as if the visual freedom of the comics had untied his hands and allowed the film to be legitimately saturated with his peculiar vision. Batman is thus a film in the best Burton tradition, full of great shots and bold artistic solutions, which give the whole an unmistakable atmosphere on the edge between a fairy tale, a horror and creative phantasmagoria. The cynical allusions to mass character and manipulability are also excellent, as well as a great comic insert with editorial staff not wearing any makeup. However, the centerpiece of the film remains "the man with two faces" Michael Keaton (the duality really suits him) and especially Jack Nicholson's Joker, whose contagiously extravagant conception of a new deadly avantgarde is among the best villain mannerisms in the history of film. Batman feels modern for its time, as if the film was ahead of the period development and belonged more to the current wave of comic book adaptations, with all the ease, visual pickiness and resistance to vain heroism. Unfortunately, the story of the film is far too sparse, has no gradation and near the end it contains boring and purely self-serving spots, and although Burton's film vision shines, there is no tension... Batman Returns suffered from a very similar syndrome. Nevertheless, I rank the introductory adventures of the Batman on the pedestal of comic book adaptations as a film that set the direction. And I ask why Nolan et al. feel the need to retell it? ()


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Engels In 1989, the authors of any comic book movie could literally come up with whatever they wanted. And since in this case, the project involved Tim Burton, it was clear that you surely wouldn’t be disappointed. Even after almost thirty years I can say at least that, as opposed to today’s comic book movies, this one absolutely has the spirit of the playful visionary that is Burton. In this one, Batman is as dark as midnight, Joker is as deranged as a train gone wild and the music in this case is so genial that in connection with Tim Burton, who put a layer of gloss and visual aesthetics on all that wackiness, disappointment was simply not an option. It’s nice to see how it was all about entertainment with movies like this one back in the day. Today it’s all about colors, digital effects, pseudo-realism and forced catchphrases in the mouths of characters who don’t even deserve them. Here, you can simply focus on the scene and you are good. For instance, the scene where Joker storms into the museum and while listening to a divine song by Prince, he and his thugs spray and draw over one Renaissance painting after another. I mean that’s so genius that it can’t be beaten even by the entire arsenal of the Marvel of today. ()



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Engels Not great, Keaton. Jack is no Joker, but simply Jack with some white make-up on his face, but this doesn’t mean he doesn’t fit nicely into Burton’s approach to Batman. Not great, and I mean not rather than great, when it comes to Basinger. The visuals are great, while Elfman’s music is surprisingly not so great (apart from the central theme, that is). Looks like a mediocre movie? A bit, but it isn’t. The atmosphere of the dismal, neo-gothic Gotham City and Burton’s directing make this a quality picture that is watchable multiple times. But not too often. ♫ OST score: 3/5 ()


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Engels A legend. I prefer the new Batman of the new millennium, but this is a proper classic. An excellent cast, "gothic" music by Danny Elfman, and a demonic Jack Nicholson. The set and production design are slightly theatrical, but that’s fine. This film has a overall different feeling than the polished and realistic comic book movies of today. It's a different era and a different vision of the director. Tim Burton is an eccentric and he made an eccentric film. The gloomy atmosphere is hard to surpass. ()


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Engels Batman 89 came to theaters after a long dry spell since Batman 66. In the meantime, there had been a sea of events in the realm of DC Comics adaptations. In the 1970s, Superman and Wonder Woman were doing fairly well, but by the 1980s, Superman wasn't working anymore, and even Supergirl failed to succeed. Tim Burton had to first prove his mettle with Beetlejuice. But eventually, everything came together, and the cult of Batman 89 lives on, most recently in the modern Flash. Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, and Kim Basinger (playing the newly iconic character Vicki Vale, already known from Batman and Robin) reign over the dark tale set in the neo-Gothic Gotham. The story is inspired by contemporary literary works, "The Dark Knight Returns" (1986) and "The Killing Joke" (1988). Many references allude to German expressionism, to The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Metropolis. And today, of course, new comic book continuations of the Batman 89 universe are being released. A genre classic. ()

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