Over the last 2 months, my previously-Batman-less girlfriend and I have watched all 7 Batman films.
Batman: This original Batman has the same weakness that all of the live action movies have: not enough Batman roaming the shadows and laying down his own justice with various gadgets. That said, it DOES have my favorite Bruce Wayne. Micheal Keaton's Bruce Wayne is as quirky-looking as you'd expect for a rich person who lives in a creepy mansion, puts on a suit and stalks a scary city at night. This movie also has the most maturity to it, in that Wayne's romantic pursuit takes a while to develop, and there aren't a whole lot of neat effects to subdue the kids. This movie also has my favorite ending (top of the city hero shot + great score track).
Batman Forever is a favorite because a change in director brought such a goofy movie that only takes a nugget of itself seriously. This movie starts off with 30 minutes of one-liners and really stupid exposition. Then we get to see a return to darkness with brooding Bruce Wayne and Two-Face's killing of Dick Grayson's parents. This movie has a lot of style and color compared to its predecessors, and the Riddler is infinitely quotable and as Jim Carey as possible. Wayne's love interest in this is Dr Chase Meridian, which is probably the most gorgeous Nicole Kidman has ever looked. They throw more one-liners at each other, and some really light, obvious psychology, and then we get treated to one of the best shots in the Batman series. At some point, Batman jumps off a roof to chase the villains, and the camera pans up and down his figure, cape-a-flying as the theme gets going. I feel like the director wasted this shot because our hero falls right through a tube to his own burial. Ahh well, the Bat vehicles are the best in the series. The final note is that I am a huge fan of the corny running towards the screen in slow motion at the end of the movie.
|Sorry Nolan, didn't like your tumbler as much as the others.|
The Dark Knight is simply as perfect a movie as I could ever hope for. There's nothing else to add.
The Dark Knight Rises is severely lacking in Batman, and the Bat could possibly my least favorite vehicle in the franchise. I thought Bane was interesting, but to have some brains - intelligent villains with a plan are so much better to watch! They didn't spend enough time on Catwoman, and the story's crazy timeline was hard to ignore. The movie does, however, have my favorite music of the trilogy, which is Bane's menacing theme. I am very very interested in seeing Nolan direct a Batman team, whether he works together with Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, or all of them.
I may have botched a reference here or there, but it was really nice going through such an exciting and eccentric part of American culture with my girlfriend. She liked all of them, and ended up liking the last movie more than anyone else I know.