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Director Tim Burton (Beetlejuice) brings the dark knight to the screen fully-realized and brimming with post-modern anxiety. The future gothic atmosphere is dark and convincing, calling to mind Terry Gilliam's approach to Brazil and Syd Mead's retro-deco sets for Blade Runner.

Michael Keaton may have the lips to play Batman (reportedly what first attracted Burton), but he barely manages to squeak by otherwise. Kim Bassinger appears as decoration in the role of Vicki Vale, while Jack Nicholson outshines the rest of the cast as The Joker. Also starring Jack Palance, Jerry Hall, and Robert Wuhl. The score is by Oingo Boingo front man turned hot-shot composer Danny Elfman. MTV tie-ins courtesy of Prince.

(G. Branwyn)


Directed by Tim Burton
Warner Bros., 1989.

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Bob Kane, the creator of the comic book Batman, patterned his Vicki Vale character after Marilyn Monroe.

Some die-hard fans of Batman were upset by the fact that in Burton's Batman, he uses guns (on the Bat Wing, for instance). Batman never used guns in the comics because his parents were murdered with one.

Why the Batman costume?

In the 1950's version of the tale, Dr. Thomas Wayne (Bruce's father) wore a Bat/Man costume to a Halloween party. The party is crashed by gangsters who start robbing everyone. They take Dr. Wayne with them after their ringleader, Lew Moxon, gets shot up. Wayne heroically busts up the gang and Moxon swears revenge. He hires hitman Joe Chill to ice Wayne and make it look like a mugging.

Later on, Bruce remembers his father's bat costume when looking for costume suggestions for his superhero persona.

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Gareth Branwyn -

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