The bat, the cat and the penguin. I've just rediscovered how amazing Burton's Batman is. I saw it only once like 7 years ago and didn't taught much of it. Now that I have way more film knowledge, I can clearly see the expressionist influence of this film. It is one of the best Batman films but also the one with the least of him in it. More than a superhero film, this is a darkly comic story about freaks and outcasts.
Gone are the days when a big budget event film conceived to sell merchandise would be helmed by a director as idiosyncratic as Tim Burton was at this time. Burton and scripter Daniel Waters twist the iconic hero and villains to their own perverse ends. Less a franchise place holder than an anguished cry of fury. A distinctly personal statement by an artist given a wide commercial canvas with which to express himself.
(3.5) I re-watched Burton's Batman the other day and found it disappointing but watching this for the first time (24 years late) I was pretty impressed. It feels like Burton got to make a film more in his own style, darker and weirder than the first Batman, and DeVito and particularly Pfeiffer are great.
Although lacking the raw, visceral power of the original, BATMAN RETURNS improves upon its predecessor's clunkier parts (dialog, plot, tone). Given free rein by the studio, Tim Burton pile-drives his artistic credo ('it's okay to be a freak') while leaning on the stunning production and costume design. Then there is Keaton's Batman and Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman. Their sadomasochism as unflinching modern romance.
This is less a BATMAN movie and more of a Tim Burton tale of urbanized Fractured Fairy Tale characters. That being said, Michael Keaton is (unconventionally, I admit) the BEST Dark Knight ever! His relationship with an equally superb Michelle Pfeiffer Catwoman is the most perfect representation of 21st Century "love affairs" I've yet seen. (All the masks ... the posturing...) The movie looks incredible too!
Meh. It's a Batman movie. That said, the obvious Expressionist influence is wonderful, and the resulting look is Burton through and though but before he hit self-parody. Pfeiffer might just be my favorite cinematic Catwoman (can't beat Newmar or Kitt on the small screen though). Can you imagine such an interesting casting choice for the lead being made today? I miss quirky choices, like Keaton.