March 26, 2012: The Supermovie Of The Week Club Reconvenes!  Cookie Monster Reviews Batman (1989)!

Finally, a supermovie dat not completely suck.  Only partz involving wet noodle main charakters, a butler who can’t keep a sekret, and bad guyz dancing to Prince.

Movie star wit family lost in big city.  Dad say he know where dey going.  Yeh. Me know too.  Straight to Hell!  He lead dem down desserted alley where dey beaten and robbed. Tanks, dad!  But robberz not get far.  Batman make grand entrance like he Phantom of da Opera, ruff dem up, and call it a night.

It turn out cool, tough Batman really skinny lame Michael Keaton Bruce Wayne. Monster not like dis bit of casting.  Batman not all about de soot and bat shark repellent.  It about de man under de soot who aktually real hard and tough like Animal in his MMA dayz or Christian Bale yelling at direktor of photography.

March 26, 2012: The Supermovie Of The Week Club Reconvenes!  Cookie Monster Reviews Batman (1989)!
Milktoasty is adjektive?

Love interest in movie not dat interesting at all.  Vicky Vale about as eggciting as bag of low calorie shortbread cookies.

March 26, 2012: The Supermovie Of The Week Club Reconvenes!  Cookie Monster Reviews Batman (1989)!
Vicky Vale = de steamed halibut of Batman charakters

But dats okay becuz villain in movie make up for both boring charakters.  Jack start off as bad guy working for Curly Washburn but have affair wit girlfrend of boss and end up set up at chemikal plant.  Police arrive!  Den Commishuner Gordon arrive! Den Batman arrive!  Jack fall into vat of chemikals!  And nobody bodder to fish him out. Monster not sure know why not.  Mebbe it a union ting.  Anyway, when everyone leave, Jack crawl out of chemikal vat.  He transformed into…Joker!  Green hair!  Pancake make-up!  Way too much lipstick!  Scary?  Not really.  He just look like ladiez night regular at Sesame Street Pub.

March 26, 2012: The Supermovie Of The Week Club Reconvenes!  Cookie Monster Reviews Batman (1989)!
Jack Nickelson tear it up on de golf course AND onscreen.

He consolidate power over udder crime lordz.  He kill dem with joy buzzerz and fedders.  He poison beauty and Hi Gene! produktz so dat everybody scared to use. Newscasterz end up looking like weekend Groverz.

March 26, 2012: The Supermovie Of The Week Club Reconvenes!  Cookie Monster Reviews Batman (1989)!
When Joker start dancing to Prince, monster reddy to call it a movie.

Joker fantastik villain.  Very impressive.  Until he show up at muzeum and start dancing to Prince.  Prince?!  Twenty years ago mebbe dis seem like good idea.  Now, it just painful to watch.  Joker kidnap Vicky Vale.  Monster tink he could do better. Batman tink so too becuz he show up and take Vicky away in bitchin’ Batmobile.

March 26, 2012: The Supermovie Of The Week Club Reconvenes!  Cookie Monster Reviews Batman (1989)!
Sweet ride.

For some reazon, Bruce Wayne decide he in love wit Vicky after two dates.  He wrestle with wedder to tell her he Batman.  Den Joker show up at her apartment. Bruce Wayne dare him to shoot him.  But not in de head.  Only in de chest exaktly where he hide metal tray to deflekt bullet.  Joker shoot him.  Not in the de head. Only in de chest exaktly where Bruce hide metal tray to deflekt bullet.  Luckeeeeee! For some reazon, before he shoot Bruce, Joker say silly line.  He claim he always say dis silly line before he kill somebody.  Really?  He not say it any udder time in movie. Why important?  Turn out it lame plot device to remind Bruce of night his parentz killed – by man who use same line!  Yes!  Joker killed Bruce Waynez parentz! What a coinsidents!  A lame, lame coinsidents!

While Bruce being all mopey, Alfred bring Vicky into batcave.  What de Fudgeoo?  Old coot suddenly start giving tours of bat cave now witout permishun?  (“Over on right is bat computer where Batman, aka Bruce Wayne, search for bad guyz.  Over on left is Batmobile dat Batman, aka Bruce Wayne, drive around in.  And we walking.  We walking.  Say, did me mention Batman really Bruce Wayne?”).  How dis idiot still have a job?!

Joker trow parade.  More dancing to Prince.  🙁

Stoopid people rush to Joker for cash – and death.  But Batman arrive.

March 26, 2012: The Supermovie Of The Week Club Reconvenes!  Cookie Monster Reviews Batman (1989)!
It's de Phantom - er - Batman!

Dis all lead to most unsatisfying final battle in movie history.  Batman in super batsuit vs. bad guys.  Batman beat dem all.  Yawn.  Joker try to fight him.  No match for super batsuit.  Yawn.

March 26, 2012: The Supermovie Of The Week Club Reconvenes!  Cookie Monster Reviews Batman (1989)!
De most anti-cimactik climaks

Joker fall off building.  But not dead!  Manage to turn tablez on Batman and Vicky. He try to get away – but Batman murder him with batarang and handy gargoyle. Just as well for dis monster.  Me not like prospekt of possible sekwell wit Joker dancing to Sheila E. or Appolonia.

Verdikt: Monster appreciate any film dat me not have to take Zanax to sit thru!

Rating: 7 out of 10 chocolate chippee cookies.

Pleaze disckuss!

Today’s entry is dedicated to anniefromfreemantle.  Condolences.

20 thoughts on “March 26, 2012: The Supermovie of the Week Club Reconvenes! Cookie Monster reviews Batman (1989)!

  1. I dunno … I think Jack made the best Joker I’ve seen. The rest of the movie was pretty lame, I agree. I can’t wait for the second Batman movie review.

  2. I saw this movie back when it came out and liked it. Watching it in spanish last night I thought is was still Muy Bueno! Monster you are one tough cookie to please!

    I thought it was perfectly cast, except maybe for Kim Basinger. But she was still okay. I agree with Monster. Dumb butler. What’d he bring her to the batcave for?! Alfred must be getting senile.

    Jack Nicolson was his usual over the top self. I was mesmerized by the dancing Joker and his boom box.

    The batmobile was awesome. I believed everything I saw in this movie. When Batman flew, he did it with wires and pulleys and things like that. (Once he was in his cool fighter jet) Believable! All believable!

  3. Joe, what was your rating? It says “t out of 10 chocolate chippee cookies.” I’m thinking that’s a typo. That, or I’m just not getting something.

  4. Rating: t out of 10 chocolate chippee cookies.
    how many is that?

    my mom felt that michael keaton was too short to be batman. (according to imdb.com he’s 5′ 9″) but i think he was the best out of that era of batman movies. (keaton/val kilmer/george clooney)

  5. Hard to disagree with any of your review comments Cookie.

    I remember saying to a fellow high schooler in 1989, how good this movie was going to be compared to the 1960’s incarnation, and reflecting back on it, compared to the recent Batman movies…well…Jack Nicholson while good in ’89 now seems as campy as Caesar Romero was back in the 60’s. Leger has certainly raised the bar on the character.

    The final battle scene was seriously unsatisfying. Joker’s gun shooting down the Batplane for example?

    Would love for you to consider a review of all four Terminator movies sometime. I think you’d have an interesting take on them for sure.

  6. It lost me on the “bat-plane towing balloons” thing (a violation of aerodynamics), but overall I enjoyed it much better than the Superman movies.

    Great review Cookie!

  7. “Ever dance with the Devil in the pale moonlight?”

    Well, I don’t know about that, but I did watch 4 installments of the Superman movie franchise.

    I totally agree with cookie on Michael Keaton’s casting. He never seemed quite right for the part. I could never match up his VERY laid back (almost disinterested) performance with Bruce Wayne’s troubled past and present. There was just no intensity at all. He just plays the role so… small. I thought that even the guy who was the newspaper reporter would have brought more life to the part.

    Nicholson did a great Joker, but looking back in the context of Heath Ledger’s performance, it just doesn’t seem crazy enough anymore. Joker should be a total madman. The Joker here just seems kind of pissed off.

    Overall, I never felt the movie quite was up to the great atmosphere or “look” of it, which was extremely well done.

    Couple of other points:

    Um, how does a newspaper photographer like Vicki Vale afford a place like that in Gotham City? Jimmy Olsen must be going “WTF?” and going to the Daily Planet for a pay raise.

    How convenient was it that the Bat Plane had EXACTLY the right attachment for catching huge balloons and carrying them off for disposal. Talk about being prepared for everything!

    Loved the iconic face-unveiling scene. Totally awesome. “MIRROR!!!!”

  8. Wow, you are a tough Cookie Monster to please.

    I didn’t do a re-watch, but at the time I saw this in ’89, I loved it.
    I particularly loved Gotham City’s gloomyness and architecture. And, I liked Michael Keaton. I was prepared not to like him at all because I was only familiar with his comedy roles.

    Actually, I think perhaps I was expecting a silly-ish take on Batman. So, I was pleased and happy to see a movie that treated a superhero with some of the same care and love and respect that comic book fans give their heroes.

  9. The most striking thing for me – and it’s all thanks to the Supermovie Of The Week Club that allowed me to notice it – is that Batman was released only 2 years after Superman IV but they are lightyears apart in tone and substance.

    We have Batman to thank for showing us that superhero movies don’t need to be filled with lame slapstick comedy. OK, there’s a little bit of slapstick comedy but not on the scale of previous movies we’ve had to sit through. In my opinion the Batman character will always make a better subject for big screen adaptations. The whole premise of a troubled billionaire who fights crime because of the murder of his parents is always going to translate well into interesting character driven plots. The fine line Batman walks between hero and vigilante is very interesting and is at its height in this movie because even the police don’t know what to make of him.

    Gotham City is dark, brooding and . . . well . . . gothic! The only daytime shots I can think of were the exterior shots of Wayne Manor and the scene where Bruce places the flowers where his parents died and then goes on to City Hall. Everything else was at night! I love the mix of technologies such as the then modern TV cameras with the 40s style flash bulb cameras of the newspaper photographers and the chunky, old fashioned microphones.

    Danny Elfman’s score is frantic as always but suits the action and style of the movie.

    The criticism of the climax is warranted and understandable when you realise that they hadn’t actually written the climax at the point where they were filming The Joker and Vicki Vale climbing the stairs to the top of the cathedral. Tim Burton had to admit to Jack Nicholson that he didn’t know why they were climbing the stairs at that point. The original plan was for The Joker to kill Vicki and then Bruce goes into a rage and kills The Joker. Whether that would have been a better ending I don’t really know.

    On the whole, though, the script was pretty tight. The character’s motives were plain and logical. The Joker was obviously a psychopath who was hellbent on causing murder and mayhem but wasn’t really interested in world domination like Superman baddies tend to be. They established his penchant for pretty ladies before he became The Joker so his interest in Vicki didn’t push the boundaries of believability. And even though Vicki’s peril was probably the main driver for Batman to pursue The Joker it’s clear that Batman would have done it anyway even if Vicki wasn’t there. I agree, the coincidence of the younger Joker killing Bruce’s parents was a bit much but I’ve never questioned the coincidence until now.

    The casting of Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne was inspired. Known primarily as a comic actor it was a gamble that paid off. And Jack Nicholson is my definitive Joker. Kim Basinger was OK as Vicki Vale but a bit one dimensional and I would have expected her to stick up for herself a bit more, being a hardened war photographer and all.

    Batman is one of the highlights of my moviegoing youth. It saved the superhero genre from the bottomless pit that the Superman movies had thrown it into and, for that, we have a lot to be grateful for.

  10. Still my favorite Batman movie. I didn’t watch it – don’t need to – I’d give it 9/10. I don’t care for Christian Bale, so I’ve never been able to warm to his version of the character. I really appreciated this film. It was new and different, a bit dark without being depressing. Plus, I like Prince. 🙂

    @ anniefromfreemantle – Not sure what has happened, but still sending {{{hugs}}} your way.

    das

  11. Let’s see… 5 and 6 are both close to the “t” key, so maybe you were going for one of those? Or maybe it was a math problem we were supposed to solve.

    While I didn’t get the chance to watch the movie, I do remember liking Michael Keaton as Batman. I thought it was cool that the suit transformed an average, kind of wimpy guy into a superhero.

    And Jack Nicholson is so wonderful as the Joker that I can forgive him dancing to Prince. But at the time the movie was released, that worked pretty well. Yeah, he’s campy, but Batman villains were meant to be campy. It’s only in the “Dark Knight” version of the comic that they (the villains) have lost that aspect and become really dark, violent and cruel like Heath Ledger’s Joker.

  12. Hi Joe, Cookie Monster & everyone here….

    I actually like Michael Keaton as Batman. Until Christian Bale came along he was my favourite Batman. I’m not sure why actors usually struggle with this role. They either do a good Bruce Wayne or a good Batman but rarely both. I like the dark, brooding quality Keaton brings to it.

    Jack Nicholson was brilliant. I’d forgotten about the dancing….haha…I hate those cringeworthy moments in films.

    I agree two dates is a bit much, however I’ve fallen in love with a guy I hadn’t dated…..well technically hadn’t…actually um…yeah moving on….LOL

    I wondered what became of Vicki Vale ‘cos I couldn’t remember if she was mentioned in later movies so I googled it….here’s the Wikipedia article – Vicki Vale

    “Vicki does not appear in the sequel Batman Returns, but is mentioned once during a conversation between Bruce and Selina Kyle, where Bruce mentions that Vicki ended their relationship because ultimately she could not accept his dual life”

    I also discovered this sweet site – Batmobile History. What’s everyone’s favourite Batmobile? I can’t decide….I love them all.

    Thanks for your answer on the basketball…I’ve watched games when I was free, which hasn’t been very often. I like Ohio State and would love to see underdog Louisville in the Final. How about you? If I remember rightly you don’t like Kentucky, Kansas or Ohio State…is that correct?

    Sorry to see Fuel/Refuel go…I never got to eat there 🙁 …..so glad you and Akemi had an incredible final meal there…it looked divine.

    Doggie vids were super cute

    Chev

  13. Great Cookie Monster review, as ever. But I must disagree with Cookie about Keaton, as he’s a talented actor. He was perhaps an unusual choice to play a superhero, but he made it work I think. I would rate this Batman film as good as the new Bale ones, even though I think Burton lost his way somewhat with the increasingly bad sequels.

  14. It’s been so long since I’ve seen that movie. I do believe I enjoyed it. Enough so that I was later indignant to have to walk out on another Batman movie, as if I should have been surprised to have to walk out on a superhero movie.

  15. CM, “t out of 10 cookies”?
    I’m with you and Gforce on Michael Keaton as Batman. Batman IS angst : ” the constant struggle one has with the burdens of life that weighs on the dispossessed and not knowing when the salvation will appear”; he’s Fighting Evil and Trying to Make a Difference. Unfortunately Michael Keaton’ Bruce Wayne came across more as a slightly petulant, middle-age man than an angsty, brooding Superhero in Disguise. I wouldn’t go so far as to call him ball-less, but he definitely lacked the force of character that is synonymous with the Dark Knight. Although he does do a good arched brow that’s quite intense.

    Jack Nicholson as the Joker was by far the best criminal ever in the Batman movies until Heath Ledger came around. Yes, the Prince song was not the greatest however don’t you think “Partyman” was particularly appropriate for the scene? The big J struts in with his parade leader baton, he and his followers ‘rebel’ against polite society by having a party in the museum, mocking and desecrating the art hanging on the walls. It was perfect!

    Whether it was Kim Basinger or the character she was playing, Vicky Vale, Intrepid News Photographer, was a completely one-dimensional character. Goddamnit woman! You’re Vicky Vale, Intrepid News Reporter! don’t just stand around in your prom queen dress/bohemian baret and cry! Stop skulking! Stop crying! Stop waiting to be rescued! Just stop! She gets my vote for most annoying female character in a Batman movie.

    Overall the tone of the movie was set quite well, as Line Noise noted above. The story of Batman has always been somewhat on the goth-flavoured side of things. I loved the grittiness of the film itself as it really set the tone of the movies to come. Well, except Batman and Robin. Let’s not go there….

    Overall I’d give this movie 6/10 cookies.

  16. In another life….I had loved the Superman genre comic books more than Batman ones. Both the early TV shows – well, they were ok, but Superman seemed better. The Batman TV shows seemed like the characters had to read their cue cards for each scene. Then the movies came along and the Batman movie somewhat saved the day because it seemed more real.
    And, we should also take into account that as with anything else, there comes a technical and/or realism and/or maturity and/or (fill in the blank) evolution that results in some major and some subtle changes in the production process. Special effects, with its continual evolution, have saved many movies.

    I rather liked Keaton’s “somewhat” sullenness to figure out what to do next. And, with the mask on…he had a cool appearance just due his mouth. The costume had built in 6 pack abs so what’s not to like?
    Nicholson’s Joker at that point was the epitome.
    And, YES….loved the car.

    If I am not mistaken, there was or is a replica at the Volo (Illinois) Auto Museum. I know there is the Gen Lee car from The Dukes of Hazard and the car Starsky and Hutch used. Well, I did see them on one visit.

  17. I don’t think casting Michael Keaton as Batman was wrong in the dawn of the 90’s. That’s like saying casting Jerry Lewis in a drama was wrong in France. You just can’t know what they attach value to unless you’re living it.

    Walk around all day with the legs of your jeans pegged, show off them socks that match your shirt perfectly, multiple pairs if you got ’em, then come back and tell me Michael Keaton was wrong as Batman.

    —-

    That’s weird they filmed before knowing the climax. I guess if there’s a piece you could have confidence that you could come up with SOMETHING at the last minute, it’d be the climax, but it’s still weird.

  18. @ Lewis – I really need to work on my reputation. 😛

    @ Line Noise – I like your review. Also, about that coincidence – I love those types of connections in movies. It helps to bring things full circle…like…like a cookie. Too bad Mr. Monster didn’t see it that way.

    @ DP – I’m not a big fan of Keaton, but I liked him as Batman, much better than Bale. Keaton at least was able to project some emotion, a concept totally foreign to Bale. Unless he’s yelling profanities at someone on the set, then he does just fine. 🙄

    das

  19. What a great review. I do like this movie more than the Tim Berton version of the Penguin. I hope to participate in next weeks assignment. Due to personal scheduling I am unable to participate in this week’s viewing, however, I just saw a Youtube video, via Hotair, where the police pulled over Batman. It is worth a chuckle, even the police at the stop seemed well humored.

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