So a while ago I made a faux Daily Planet for my own amusement…
I thought you guys would enjoy!
Unless you hate fun (or the U.S., commie), you know The Dark Knight Rises marks the culmination of Christopher Nolan’s Batman film trilogy. In my opinion, there’s not enough written about Batman on the Internet. So I decided to take a look back at the history of Batman in film.
Every comic-book film now pulling in millions at the box office owes a debt to Batman. It showed Hollywood that a superhero could be taken seriously and be commercially viable.
In stark contrast to the campy 1960s TV series and film starring Adam West, Tim Burton’s take on Batman was much darker. Visually, Burton created a bleak metropolis filled with Gothic and art deco influences.
He also cast Michael Keaton in the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman instead of a more conventional action star. Without context it seems odd, but Keaton proved he could deliver a pretty unhinged performance in his previous Burton project, Beetlejuice.
In Burton’s Gotham City, Batman must stop the underworld’s newest crime boss, the Joker (Jack Nicholson), after he poisons everyday hygiene products in the city. I think most people have the perception, looking back, that Nicholson’s performance was too campy. However, it still holds up as a really strange, unsettling performance.
Also, how awesome is it that Lando Calrissian is Harvey Dent?
Batman Returns (1992)
Burton followed the critically and commercially successful Batman with Batman Returns. He upped the stakes with the additions of the Penguin (Danny DeVito), Max Shreck (Christopher Walken) and Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer).
Really is there anyone more suited to play the Penguin than DeVito? And I’m pretty sure Pfeiffer in that leather Catsuit made me a man. Oh, and Christopher freaking Walken! As far as I’m concerned, he should be in all the movies.
Anyway, Batman Returns weaves three sub-plots into the main story, which climaxes with the kidnapping of the queen of Gotham’s winter festival. It blends themes of tragedy, loss and revenge with Burton’s patented playfulness for a very unique experience.
As one critic put it, Burton “may have created the first blockbuster art film.” Unfortunately, it would be Burton’s last Batman film. The franchise would soon go off the rails.