Ep 22: Batman


Birdman‘s Best Picture win at this year’s Oscars made Nate and Ryan want to revisit Michael Keaton’s turn as a superhero in Tim Burton’s 1989 blockbuster Batman.  This movie was a staple of Nate’s childhood, but one that Ryan only saw as an adult.  They discuss how the movie has held up over the years, especially given the large library of superhero movies that followed in Batman’s wake.

Burton’s Batman was ground-breaking for summer blockbusters.  Warner Bros. took a risk on a fairly untested director, put an actor known better as a comedian in the cowl, and cast a heavyweight Oscar winner as the villain.  The formula worked, and thanks to Burton’s Batman, for better or worse, we have the glut of superhero movies we know today.  With it came gems like Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises, Joss Whedon’s The Avengers, and Jon Favreau’s Iron Man, along with some movies that should probably be forgotten.

Let us know your thoughts on Batman.  What did you think of Burton’s take?  Where does Michael Keaton rank in your list of best movie Batmen?  Do you remember Batmania?  We’d love firsthand accounts.

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  1. Not having seen either of these in quite a while…Batman Returns was better. I feel like the confused/bifurcated nature of Batman that you guys discussed wasn’t in Returns to the same degree. Maybe because Burton both produced and directed Returns? I recall it being more definitively its own strange thing. It seems significant that I have a very clear impression of how weird, dark, and strange Returns was even when I don’t recall the exact details about it, whereas my memories of Batman are more vague.

    • Dan, I think you’re absolutely right.

      For the record, it got cut because of time, but in the episode we both talked about how we thought Burton refined a lot of what was great about Batman in Batman Returns and made a tighter, more cohesive film that worked better for the both of us, at least in memory.

      Just this morning I was remembering the Penguin origin story during the opening credits of Returns. That sequence is so great and so “Burton.”

      • Oh fun. If you guys are bored, I’d be interesting in listening to that extra segment if you put it out as a bonus podcast or something.

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