Monday, June 13, 2011

Batman (1989)

Batman's depiction of how newspaper reporters and photographers do their work is bad, man.

This blogger works for a daily newspaper so hence the nitpicking.


But, come on. Reporter Alexander Knox (Robert Wuhl) holds a tape recorder up to a phone when talking to a source. Yeah, that will work.

Ace photographer Vicki Vale (Kim Basinger) uses a flash in the middle of the night when Batman (Michael Keaton) dukes it out with the Joker's (Jack Nicholson) henchmen. Sure, those photos will turn out. She must know the flash would give away her location to the bad guys. She has worked in combat zones, right?

Knox's paper is the only one in Gotham City to chase rumblings of a bat-like creature putting the boot to bad guys at night. Hardly. Every media outlet would be chasing that kind of story. Where's the competition?

Politicians scrum with a pack of reporters and only Knox shouts out a question. There's no way that would happen, especially with a major city threatened by a crazed criminal like The Joker.


Here's one more. Vale is supposedly a skilled news photographer, one of the best in the business. Yet, she screams every time the Joker makes an unwanted move on her or Batman (Michael Keaton) tries to get her out of trouble. Come on, Vicki. To do your kind of work, you'd need nerves of steel.

This movie-goer remembers standing in a very long line at the Pen Centre in St. Catharines, Ont., to see Tim Burton's reboot of the DC Comics character in 1989. While watching it again for the first time in 22 years, I wondered what that hoopla was all about.

Burton has made some great movies (Beetlejuice), but Batman bites.

Nicholson's Joker is more annoying than menacing. His saving grace comes from a string of strong one-liners ("This town needs an enema." "Never rub another man's rhubarb.")


Most of the film's action scenes are ho-hum. There's little tension between Batman and The Joker. The Batmobile is cool though. Too bad it couldn't act.

Veteran actor Jack Palance (Shane) gets some screen time as crime boss, Carl Grissom, but doesn't inspire fear as a major kingpin.

"They're great survivors," Wayne says of bats. Too bad the same can't be said of Batman.

RATING: 4/10

FUN FACTS: After working with director Tim Burton on several projects in the late 1980s and early 1990s (Beetlejuice, Batman and Batman Returns), the pair may reunite for the first time in nearly 20 years with Frankenweenie.

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