© 1989 Warner Bros. Pictures

Batman (1989)

I’m continuing to go through all of Tim Burton’s films, and decided I had to finally see his Batman, even though I knew this would be, by far, my least favorite of his films. As someone who was never interested in comic books, and never liked the campy ‘60s TV show even as a kid, the whole idea of a “serious” Batman film always seemed silly to me.

I still remember the ubiquitous marketing campaign for this film in the summer of 1989, including the heavy-rotation music video by Prince featuring Kim Bassinger, who was being presented as the most beautiful woman in the world. Finally seeing the film over 20 years later, I realize what a truly terrible actress she is. The only thing worse than her in the film is the small role taken by former fashion model Jerri Hall. It is obvious that Burton was going for and timeless, somewhat 1940s atmosphere that is intentionally, well, cartoonish. But generic and timeless does not necessarily mean bad acting. Jack Nicholson really does make the movie, and deserved the top billing and huge salary he got, but even his scene stealing gets old fast.

Other than this being a not very good movie, or even fun, this also more or less singlehandedly set off the phenomenon of big-budget movies based on comic books, which continues stronger than ever today.

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