TO THE BATPOLES podcast #85: "Batman '89" Turns our Heads

General goings on in the 1966 Batman World

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HELLOLARRY
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES podcast #85: "Batman '89" Turns our Heads

Post by HELLOLARRY »

I wish they would take the movies in a different direction. I'm a Batman guy yet I do go to just about every Marvel film that is released. Even if I don't like the content, most of the time I am very entertained and that is what I think has been missing from the last few Batman movies.

Dark Knight...we get it already. How about going back and doing a Batman film that is set in a different era, one that has his origins in mind without the rubber suit and all of the tricky gadgets etc. A Batman who speaks above a whisper as if he isn't ashamed about the immobile costume he's wearing. Something placed maybe in the 30's or 40's that is - and this is important - entertaining. IMO, I think the original Superman film from '78 along with a handful of the earlier Marvel films (Spiderman, Captain America) have the right balance. Yet another different spin on Batman might be a good way to go at this point. Not sure if something like that would go over well enough with modern movie audiences.

Bryan Grantham
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES podcast #85: "Batman '89" Turns our Heads

Post by Bryan Grantham »

Batinthesun productions released a really interesting short many years ago called "Patient J". It's notable for the appearance of the Detective Comics #27 bat-uniform, in the segments about the Red Hood becoming The Joker. They are quick shots, but prove that you can have a '39-era Batman outfit without it looking ridiculous. I know it's not a major studio picture, but Aaron Schoenke and Co. have made some impressive Bat-films.

Just my two cents, but I remember feeling a little anxiety when I read articles in Comics Scene about the upcoming Burton treatment, seeing storyboards, reading Burtons theories about a disturbed Batman and totally disagreeing. However, the premiere night I was able to get a ticket, and had the best time at a movie I have ever had...before or since. The audience was revved up...all we had prior to this was the tv show and a few cartoons. Sure, when the credits rolled, I began second thoughts about what I had just seen....but the experience was exhilarating at the time.

Bryan Grantham
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES podcast #85: "Batman '89" Turns our Heads

Post by Bryan Grantham »

Kevin Porter as Batman '39 in "Patient J."
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Progress Pigment
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES podcast #85: "Batman '89" Turns our Heads

Post by Progress Pigment »

I think Robert Wuhl as Alexander Knox, was used because he was/is so damn ugly. By comparison, the newly face lifted, eye-brow enhanced, hair-transplanted, and bee stung lipped Keaton almost looked handsome. Certainly not Adam West handsome, but he looked okay. Wouldn't it have been simpler to just hire a good looking actor? In Batman (1989) and Mars Attacks, Tim Burton managed to get the two worst performances out of Jack Nicholson in modern history! I hated the film -- film? It was basically a two hour toy commercial. In Burton's Batman, the caped crusader took out half of Gotham with his crashed plane to stop one fat middle-aged villain. A stupid shameful waste.

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Next week, the Dynamic Duo meets the Clock King!

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Mr. Deathtrap
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES podcast #85: "Batman '89" Turns our Heads

Post by Mr. Deathtrap »

Gentlemen,

I am delighted you used The Piano Guys "Batman Evolution" for your intro. I vaguely recall mentioning it to you when you asked about renditions of the Hefti theme a long time ago. Anyway, watching the video again, I wonder if you noticed the walls of the Adam West Batcave outside the atomic apparatus resemble the interior walls of the Death Star. The Piano Guys also have Star Wars and Lord of the Rings material in their vast, wonderful repertoire. Since you talked about means of reliving shows and movies before the VCR, I thought it worth pointing out.

Now, to omit tomatoes. Hmmm.

Mr. Deathtrap
Tune in for their exciting conclusion. Same Bat-Time! Same Bat - Channel!

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AndyFish
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES podcast #85: "Batman '89" Turns our Heads

Post by AndyFish »

I remember late Summer '88 there was a documentary going around to comic cons about the pre-production for the movie and when they showed the unpainted rubber batsuit I assumed Batman would be wearing this under his costume.

I like Jack Nicholson but I agree he was just playing Jack Nicholson. The story as originally written (there was a first draft of Sam Hamm's script going around in late '88) was better, although I think there might have been a Robin in there. But there was no revelation about Batman's parents murderer, there was no revealing the batcave to Vicki Vale, etc. It was Hollywood meddling that added all that baggage.

About four years ago at my local art museum we ran an exhibit which included old Batman Comics and we got the original Keaton batsuit which was neat to see up close. The shoes (made to look like boots) were Nike's that had the swoosh painted over, but the whole suit was extremely small. Barney Fife small.

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John Mack
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES podcast #85: "Batman '89" Turns our Heads

Post by John Mack »

The best part of 1989 was hearing Wally and The Caped Club on the radio doing their song, "Adam West." Just sayin'......
Music. BAT! Music.

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Dan E Kool
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES podcast #85: "Batman '89" Turns our Heads

Post by Dan E Kool »

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I was looking forward to this one for a long while! Thankfully, this episode did not disappoint. Your breakdown of the 1989 movie was entertaining, and I found the discussion of Cinema Fantastique to be particularly interesting. "89" is sometimes regarded as the first "serious" Batman on film. That Burton regarded the whole thing as a joke is priceless to me.
mwilbury wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 12:08 am
The mood set by the tremendous production design and music provide excellent counterpoints to the campiness of the villain and some of the dialogue. There’s more than enough style and fun to make up for what it lacks in narrative.
I haven't seen this movie in its entirety for a long, long time, but I tend to agree with the above. Elfman's theme and the über-cool Batmobile (2nd in coolness only to '66) make this movie worthwhile. The stylized noire sets are pretty sweet, too.

Your discussion of the campiness in the movie makes me consider watching it again. It's something I didn't grasp in previous viewings. Is the rubber Bat Suit so bad it's good?
- Boy Genius

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John Mack
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES podcast #85: "Batman '89" Turns our Heads

Post by John Mack »

Bryan Grantham wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 10:25 pm
Batinthesun productions released a really interesting short many years ago called "Patient J". It's notable for the appearance of the Detective Comics #27 bat-uniform, in the segments about the Red Hood becoming The Joker. They are quick shots, but prove that you can have a '39-era Batman outfit without it looking ridiculous. I know it's not a major studio picture, but Aaron Schoenke and Co. have made some impressive Bat-films.

Just my two cents, but I remember feeling a little anxiety when I read articles in Comics Scene about the upcoming Burton treatment, seeing storyboards, reading Burtons theories about a disturbed Batman and totally disagreeing. However, the premiere night I was able to get a ticket, and had the best time at a movie I have ever had...before or since. The audience was revved up...all we had prior to this was the tv show and a few cartoons. Sure, when the credits rolled, I began second thoughts about what I had just seen....but the experience was exhilarating at the time.
IMO Patient J is a dark, twisted, gross film. I guess I'm too much of a 1966 fan to ever like this or the rubber suit movies. Oh, and just so people know, I would not recommend Patient J to any of the younger fans to watch.
Music. BAT! Music.

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THE BATPHONE!
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES podcast #85: "Batman '89" Turns our Heads

Post by THE BATPHONE! »

I agree with Kamdan, I like the film. Now I may be biased as it was one of the first versions of batman I saw, back when I was about 4-5 I believe (also, I find it quite weird that I was watching this and the Adam west series at the same time and back then, I couldn't tell the difference in tone!). I feel like the members of the board should give modern batman a break, I know you guys like the sixties show but don't deny that the modern "darker" batman has a place, but I guess that's not here nor there. I guess I'm just one of those strange cases that loves both the lighter, and darker batman (excluding comics from about 2005 onward as those got a little too dark for my taste, I mean I can take dark but not joker shooting an innocent couple at a wedding dark!!). But I was always curious to see how you felt about this film, and although I'm glad to see your reactions I almost have an instinct to send an angry pm, arguing about how great this film is, since this it was my childhood, but I think I will have to control myself ;).
"Batman told him a super funny joke. When the creature didn't laugh, that was proof!"

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Keith Mayo
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES podcast #85: "Batman '89" Turns our Heads

Post by Keith Mayo »

THE BATPHONE! wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:35 pm
I I know you guys like the sixties show .....
WHAT?!?!?

Folks on this board like the 60's Show?

I knew I shoulda taken that left turn at Albquerque. 😁
"It's the very essence of our democracy". - Batman, S1 Ep 11

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adventuremaster18
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES podcast #85: "Batman '89" Turns our Heads

Post by adventuremaster18 »

I've really loved this film. It has my favorite joker in it and I love the atmosphere. It looks brilliant as well. I've always prefered it to the dark knight movies, as those honestly felt like they were trying WAY to hard. Jack is hands down my favorite joker, I love his performance and he's what I think of when ever I hear the joker. I also really like keatons performance, he plays the role very well, to me it feels like a normal guy, which is perfect, no one would suspect he's Batman, he also doesn't need to make his voice sound like a smoker to hide it. I love how as the film go on, both the joker and Batman figure out who each other are and Burton rewrote Batman and the jokers origins to be connected which works quite well. This is my 3rd favorite theatrical Batman film, behind the 66 movie and mask of the phantasm. Great movie.

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Golddragon71
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Re: TO THE BATPOLES podcast #85: "Batman '89" Turns our Heads

Post by Golddragon71 »

I've always been ahuge fan of Batman '89. largely because I had only recently gotten back into being a Bat-fan about six or so months earlier. (I started reading the comics just after the Death in the Family storyline)
I had loved the '66 series as a kid, But n the months leading up to the film I was exposed to stories like Year One, Dark Knight Returns,and the Killing Joke. From those stories, and the Movie Landscape at the time, It was clear that the Adam West 60's style Batman wouldn't work as well.

Of Course, Tim Burton's take on Batman was flawed. As was stated above, Tim wasn't really a Batman fan, he was just a movie guy who liked Dark and/or weird characters. (The upside was that he didn't have as much creative control in 89 as he did in the 92 Return which is really when he went off the deep end on taking Batman out of what the character truly was. (Trust me, If Burton had been given free reign on the 89 effort, I don't think I would be defending it half as much.)

I wasn't as turned off by the revelation to Vicki as other Bat-fans were. The reason for this was an article I had read in Comic Scene (or Starlog) where someone had said that Basinger's character was more Silver St. Cloud than she was Vicki Vale. Having just read the Greatest Batman and the Greatest Joker Stories Ever told, I was well aware of the character Silver St. Cloud. She was a young woman who had been dating Bruce Wayne for a time and when she had seen Batman fighting Deadshot, she recognized Bruce's face in the cowl.

I will admit the decision to make Joker the killer of Bruce's parents was not the best idea the filmakers ever had. I mean, as a different interpretation of the character from what was in the comics, i could accept it as creative license. However, the general public is always a little outside the loop when it comes to the source material behind these properties. As a result, they take what they see in the films at face value. When a more dedicated fan points out the actual established history versus what was shown in the movie, the response is more often than not...."Get a Life!"

When the movie came out it was my first midnight showing ever. Actually it was a day-long event for me as I arrived very early to the mall where the movie theater was. I spent three hours waiting for the ticket window to open just to get the tickets for my family. (I went with my parents and sister) I then spent the rest of the day waiting in place at the ticket holders line (From about 10 am to about 11:30pm when they started letting the audience in to get their munchies and claim their seats).

By the time the movies was starting I was chomping at the bit. and I was ready for whatever came. I was not disappointed. the movie was everything I wanted it to be. Yes, it took liberties with the character and yes it changed the origin. Still, it was as much Batman to me as the 66 series had been twelve or so years earlier. I would see it about ten or so more times over the following weeks that it ran in the theaters. When the film was released to Video the following November, i wasted no time in pre-ordering my copy from Sam Goody.

Batman 89 isn't perfect. But then, neither is Batman '66. For me, there's room for both. It's not an either/or absolute choice that has to be made. Although, i am talking about the series as a whole. To be perfectly honest, I'm far more likely to put the Batman '89 movie on than I am the 66 feature film. On the other hand, the 66 film got stale for me the longer it took to get the TV series to become reliably available. (every time I got used to it being on a given channel, i'd turn around and it'd be taken off the schedule.)
"Someone might be able to substitute for Batman, for a very short time, but no one could ever replace him!"

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