But even if we can’t help but see Batman in the shadow of Nolan’s trilogy these days, it’s still possible to see them as two sides of the same morbid coin—two fascinatingly different interpretations of the same material, drawing strikingly similar conclusions using wholly different means.
Even though the film is composed with objects made from preexisting entities, I wouldn’t permit myself to describe them with the word ‘culture’ (cinephilic or other), since this word here would loose its sense. The ensemble is something that’s unique, a creation of a dream, where the citations, the references, and the winks become sublime.
Great set designs, wonderful Elfman-score, assured direction from Burton and a great Batman by Keaton. I am not fully sold on Nicholson's turn but he work in the context of what Burton conjures up. It is a very good movie but to me this is just a dress rehearsal for the stellar follow up.
Michael Keaton is a strange Bruce Wayne. He looks confused and he mumbles. His mind is someplace else. That place else: childhood trauma physically manifested in a doppelgänger called...The Batman. All implied without Chris Nolan having Christian Bale shout it! This is Tim Burton's BATMAN. It is the most iconic reinvention by any director, ever. It's cinéma fantastique: mysterious, beautiful, weird. Also, very funny.
I'm not the biggest Tim Burton fan but his Batman films were on point. With the feeling of a comic book brought to life mixed with dark humor and the exceptional performance from Jack Nicholson as The Joker, this is a solid Batman film.
Burton's series is better than Nolan's. He knew he was making trashy films and played them over-the-top, comical, and fun. Nolan goes for a straight-face, but what's the point of being serious when you aren't a good storyteller? Burton's films had a true auteurist visual style, with more narrative momentum, and aren't distorted by generic drama. Each action scene is more imaginative, nor are they bloated in length.
It's interesting to see this film after the Christopher Nolan reboot, because it's as good, but with a different approach. I just love Gotham City with this gothic weird graphic style, visually more interesting than the post-modern design on Begins and Dark Knight.
Perhaps the most visually stunning of all superhero films, although Tim Burton's complete ineptitude at shooting action scenes is on full display. Keaton is the best Batman. Elfman's score is legendary.The scene where the Batmobile drives through the concrete wall is as good as movies get.
It's clear Burton wishes he was making a Joker film, and we all might have been better off for it. As one of the earlier successful comic book films it sets the template for a lot of their weaknesses - poor motivation, underwritten characters, reliance on set pieces. Wouldn't mind seeing Burton's noir homage though, the opening bit with Orson Welles wasn't half bad.