Directed By: Tim Burton Starring: Jack Nicholson Michael Keaton

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The oringinal Movie

by Netguy on 3/29/2012

What can I say. Jack Nicholson the best Joker of all time. Even better than Heath Ledger. Although he did a pretty good job at being the joker a lot of his actions tried to mimic some of the Jack Nicholson Joker. This is a must have movie if you loved reading the batman comics when you were young. Give you that old school feeling when you watch it. Read More

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Still very enjoyable

on 5/30/2012

Michael Keaton is still my favorite Batman, combining the dark element with the intellectual persona. Jack Nicholson also gives a great performance. This is one of Tim Burton's best efforts, despite his reservations about the making of the movie. One of my favorites as a kid. Read More

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Product Overview

The dark knight of gotham city begins his war on crime with his first major enemy being the clownishly homicidal joker.


Studio Warner
SKU 204364769
UPC 085391162995
UPC 14 00085391162995
Format DVD
Release Date 3/5/2013
Rating Rating
Big City
Character Study
Comic Book
Essential Cinema
Editors Note
Note Tim Burton's BATMAN, inspired by Frank Miller's graphic novel THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, is a Gothic, Wagnerian treatment of the Batman mythos that explains the origins of Batman (Michael Keaton) and his nemesis, the maniacal Joker (a ripe Jack Nicholson).^Gotham City is a sunless, ominous haven for criminals, held in the corrupt grip of crime boss Carl Grissom (the ever-magnetic Jack Palance), and terrorized by a sadistic vandal and murderer known as The Joker. But it isn't long before a dark, mysterious caped crusader, who goes by the name of BATMAN, is on their trail and trying to thwart their evil doings. In this darkly entertaining retelling of the Marvel comic classic, ace photojournalist Vicki Vale (warmly and sympathetically played by Kim Basinger) is also on the trail--she wants to find out who Batman really is. Based on the popular comic book character created by Bob Kane for DC Comics; the story and tone have nothing in common with the popular TV series of the 1960s. Imaginative special effects and imposing, Gothic architectural sets dominate this visually graphic, stylish film. Keaton gives a brooding performance as the Caped Crusader and his interestingly understated alter-ego Bruce Wane. But is it Nicholson's Joker that steals the show, with his unnerving, brilliantly maniacal portrayal, especially in the context of his twisted relationship with Grissom's gal Alicia (a lanky, disquieting Jerry Hall).
Plot Summary
Summary In gloomy Gotham City the caped crusader must engage in a battle-to-the-death with the villainous Joker--a madman orchestrating a wave of crime and murder that has paralyzed the town. During the course of the struggle, Batman learns the truth about his own mysterious past, and the role played by the Joker in shaping his life when he was a boy.
Los Angeles Times "...Nicholson keeps things moving higher and higher..." 06/23/1989 p.C1
Tim Burton
Jack Nicholson
Michael Keaton
Cast & Crew
Anton Furst - Production Designer
Benjamin Melniker - Executive Producer
Bob Kane - Based On Characters Created By
Danny Elfman - Original Music By
Jack Nicholson - Actor
Jack Palance - Actor
Kim Basinger - Actor
Michael Keaton - Actor
Nigel Phelps - Art Director
Peter Guber - Producer
Ray Lovejoy - Editor
Roger Pratt - Cinematographer
Sam Hamm - Screenplay
Terry Ackland-Snow - Art Director
Tim Burton - Director
Warren Skaaren - Screenplay
Technical Info
Original Release Date 1989
Catalog ID 116299
UPC 00085391162995
Number of Discs 1
Color Color
Aspect Ratio
Anamorphic Widescreen  1.85:1
Nominee (1990) British Academy Awards, Jack Nicholson, Best Actor in a Supporting Role,Golden Globe, Jack Nicholson, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical
Winner (1990) Oscar, Anton Furst, Peter Young, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration,People's Choice, Batman, Favorite All-Around Motion Picture,People's Choice, Batman, Favorite Dramatic Motion Picture
British Academy Awards (1990) Anton Furst, Nominee, Best Production Design,Bob Ringwood, Nominee, Best Costume Design,Derek Meddings, John Evans, Nominee, Best Special Effects,Don Sharpe, et. al., Nominee, Best Sound,Jack Nicholson, Nominee, Best Actor in a Supporting Role,Paul Engelen, Nick Dudman, Nominee, Best Make Up Artist
Oscar (1990) Anton Furst, Peter Young, Winner, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration
People's Choice (1990) Batman, Winner, Favorite Motion Picture,Batman, Winner, Favorite Dramatic Motion Picture
Grammy (1990) Danny Elfman, Nominee, Best Album of Original Instrumental Background Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television,Prince ("Partyman"), Nominee, Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television
Golden Globe (1990) Jack Nicholson, Nominee, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical
Review First up to bat in the Batman movies was Tim Burton, fresh off of Beetlejuice and right before Edward Scisscorhands. Burton's Gotham is a noirish nightmare that grabs you from the opening scene. Batman is still a spook story to criminals, but he's a rumor spreading like wildfire...Nicholson plays the Joker with the sardonic glee that only Jack can. Outdoing his overacting in The Shining, good old Jack and Tim Burton work together to go for broke at being over the top. Jack makes jokes that Carrot Top wouldn't touch and turns them into situational gold...Burton's Batman is a must see. It's a comic counterpart to Batman Begins with just enough action in to make life interesting. Burton's first Batman is a cynical cinematic masterpiece that shouldn't be missed by any who call themselves sarcastic.
Reviewer James Brundage
ReviewRating 8
Review Before 1989, unless you were an avid comic book reader, you probably viewed Batman as a clownish superhero, trading punches and quips with bad guys with his youthful assistant Robin faithfully at his side...That is, until the summer of 1989, when Tim Burton arrived to changed all that...Michael Keaton (Multiplicity) truly embodies the part of Batman...The set design by Anton Furst is breathtaking, transforming Gotham into a dark urban nightmare. The musical score by Danny Elfman is amazing, a sweeping orchestral sound that lifts the film to new heights...Tim Burton's direction is top notch as usual, giving us some stunning visuals...Batman raised the bar for comic book films, as well as returning the character to his dark roots. It's an entertaining film, fun to watch but a bit flawed. Fans would have to wait three years for Burton's true vision of the Dark Knight, which remains the best Batman so far.
Reviewer Joseph Savitski
ReviewRating 8
ReviewSource ReelViews
Review The superheroes of DC Comics have been very good to Warner Brothers. In 1978, Superman became a major motion picture event, packing theaters and resulting in a franchise that generated three sequels before collapsing under the weight of bad writing, bad acting, and bad special effects. Then, only two years after the release of the movie that killed the Superman series (Superman IV: The Quest for Peace), Warner Brothers turned to DC's other venerable hero, Batman. From the moment the announcement was first made, fans were ecstatic, especially when it was revealed that the tone of the film would more closely resemble the dark nature of the comics, as opposed to the jokey, campy feel of the '60s TV series starring Adam West. This Batman was intended to be a different breed from any previous live-action incarnation. Like Superman, Batman spawned three sequels, and, like the saga of The Man of Steel, the Caped Crusader's adventures were eventually ended not by the successful plots of his enemies, but by the inept plots of those who helmed the series. Batman and Robin ended the profitability of a franchise that had been teetering since installment #3, Batman Forever...Looking back at Batman from a distance - after all the hype has dried up and the franchise has at least temporarily been abandoned - it's easy to see the movie for what it is: a moderately diverting motion picture that should have been shorter and better paced. There are a lot of things wrong with Batman, but it still makes for decent entertainment in the fine tradition of the typical low-intelligence summer movie. The best thing that can be said about Batman is that it led to Batman Returns, which was a far superior effort.
Reviewer James Berardinelli
ReviewRating 7
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review The Gotham City created in "Batman" is one of the most distinctive and atmospheric places I've seen in the movies. It's a shame something more memorable doesn't happen there. "Batman" is a triumph of design over story, style over substance - a great-looking movie with a plot you can't care much about. All of the big moments in the movie are pounded home with ear-shattering sound effects and a jackhammer cutting style, but that just serves to underline the movie's problem, which is a curious lack of suspense and intrinsic interest..."Batman" discards the recent cultural history of the Batman character - the camp 1960s TV series, the in-joke comic books - and returns to the mood of the 1940s, the decade of film noir and fascism...The movie is set at the present moment, more or less, but looks as if little has happened in architecture or city planning since the classic DC comic books created that architectural style you could call Comic Book Moderne. The streets of Gotham City are lined with bizarre skyscrapers that climb cancerously toward the sky, held up (or apart) by sky bridges and stresswork that look like webs against the night sky...Director Tim Burton and his special effects team have created a visual place that has some of the same strength as Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" or Ridley Scott's futuristic Los Angeles in "Blade Runner." The gloominess of the visuals has a haunting power. Nicholson has one or two of his patented moments of inspiration, although not as many as I would have expected. And the music by Prince, intercut with classics, is effectively joined in the images. The movie's problem is that no one seemed to have any fun making it, and it's hard to have much fun watching it. It's a depressing experience. Is the opposite of comic book "tragic book"?
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 6
Product Attributes
Video Format DVD
Desson Howe, Washington Post exhilarating mix of cartoon lore, screen presence, psychological murkiness, and demented Gothic goofiness...
Erik Preminger, KGO-TV The movie of the decade!
Hal Hinson, Washington Post Dark, haunting and poetic...a magnificent living comic book...
Jack Garner, Garnett News Service Spectacular entertainment.
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone A triumph. You can't take your eyes off it!
Desson Howe, The Washington Post exhilarating mix of cartoon lore, screen presence, psychological murkiness, and demented Gothic goofiness...
Hal Hinson, The Washington Post Dark, haunting and poetic...a magnificent living comic book...
Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle ...a rare, beautifully made movie that offers you another world.

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