Gotham City wordt bedreigd door twee bizarre slechteriken: de op wraak beluste Penguin en de sadomasochistische Catwoman. Moet Batman het tegen hen opnemen of moet hij zijn aandacht vestigen op zakenman Shreck, die alle touwtjes in handen lijkt te hebben. (Warner Bros Home Entertainment)

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Engels If you want to make an adaptation of classic comic books, the biggest problem is how you want to deal with the fact that it was consumable material for the working class, basically commercial junk. They were naive stories with superheroes and villains, who look highly inappropriate in today's setting. Even though the action aspect is great in Nolan's trilogy, it seems out of place with its pathos and serious image. The vast majority of comic book adaptations suffer from schematism and an attempt to please the teenage audience. They try to impress, and they rely on effects. Burton's Batman is playful, visually polished, has a unique style and unmistakable poetics, and it is original and perfected to the last detail. Most comic movies have a problem with overkill, whereas this Batman is irresistibly ironic, evidently not taking itself too seriously. I don't think it's just the best Batman film, but also one of the best comic movies overall. Overall impression: 90%. ()


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Engels I like Tim Burton, but he should never touch comic books again. Besides, he didn't choose very good actors. Michael Keaton annoyed me from the beginning, Danny DeVito's Penguin is not a villain, but a desperately bizarre character, and Michelle Pfeiffer is a rather discouraging example of how to ruin the cult character of the series with Catwoman. And even though Danny Elfman's music is great and saves the atmosphere and to some extent the whole movie, this combination doesn't fit me at all. Depression and grotesqueness in a redrawn gothic setting do not equal a quality spectacle for me. I would rather watch the overacting duo of Jim Carrey-Tommy Lee Jones in Batman Forever. ()



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Engels A traditional Burton film for sight and Elfman for sound. The spice of the second Batman is definitely the atmosphere of Christmas, in which Tim Burton recalls his memories of his legendary godson The Nightmare Before Christmas. Dazzling cynicism, destruction of symbols and especially a yellow duck in the service of evil, this time with huge proportions... Magnificent, cynical, extraordinarily watchable. But looking at the scenery alone is not enough, so there are two key characters - Penguin and Catwoman. Both are much more prominent title heroes, which is not really a bad thing, because rather than the heroic deeds of Batman, the film is about the double-edged nature of these two characters. Batman Returns is able to make do without straightforwardness and in places, unfortunately, without storytelling flair. Burton tells the story incredibly colorfully and easily, but a few times I caught myself thinking: What about, actually? In short, I would expect a little more emotion and experience, but maybe it was just messed up for me by bad dubbing and a bad translation. Otherwise, this a good Burton film with everything it should have. Even with a filling that smells intoxicatingly of German expression. ()


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Engels This is what it’s like when, after nearly three decades, you look back at a film that made an impression on you in your early teens and you find it surprisingly bizarre, deranged, perverse, oversexed, unique and beautiful. In today’s era of thoroughly planned-out blockbusters that are meticulously controlled for the sake of corporate image despite being marketed as tremendously innovative and original, Burton’s second Batman comes across as a magnificently anti-system achievement. It’s not only that Burton ignores the comic-book canon obsessively guarded by fans, which he quite consciously doesn’t care about. Equipped with a generous budget and creative control, he spins a romantically sick and sleazily beautiful antithesis of various American myths, from the political system to superheroes to Christmas. Batman Returns is like a snowman turned upside down, its bottom revealing the hidden ugly underbelly of the kitschy idyll. With almost operatic sweep, Burton conducts phantasmagorically stylized scenes combining gothic monumentality with the deviance of expressionism. In this world, he lets the circus freaks run riot, as the heroes and villains differ only in that, for various reasons, they cannot give vent to their inner desires.  Spandex has been replaced with latex and the masks and costumes do not look like tough armour, but rather like fetishistic outfits in which the characters vainly try to hide their childhood traumas and adult perversions, obsessions and dreams of boundless power from the outside world. However, Burton’s Batman movie isn’t pompously dark and serious like those of the new millennium. In his grotesque vision, bleakness is just as essential as the classic comic-book unseriousness of the slapstick dimension. Like the world depicted in the film, its logic, violence and the antiheroes themselves are cunning, theatrical and childishly spiteful, but also full of grief, pain and a naïve longing for something better. Like all good Christmas movies, this one is about family, belonging and resting in the arms of loved ones. But with the  difference that the heroes here can only dream about that. ()


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Engels The second part of Batman by Tim Burton is even better in terms of its atmosphere than its predecessor. The only thing missing is music by Prince, which managed to lift my mood a couple of times. But on the other hand, it offers Catwoman wearing a latex suit and a man-penguin and that’s not too bad, either. ()

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