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The Dark Knight is very plot oriented but I feel that it's done well for that type. Returns just seem to lack focus for me. It does go full on Burton but that's why I like Batman 89 better though, because I felt it had more restraint, in a good way.
Returns was extremely unfocused with its plotting, and TDK is a better film as a result, but I definitely still prefer it to '89, which felt quite soulless due to all the studio mandates Burton had to follow while making it (and even he later said that he found it to be kind of boring as a result); BR was where he got to let his "freak flag fly", which makes it the better Batman film for me.



Movie Forums Squirrel Jumper
Oh okay. What mandates did Burton have to follow?



Oh okay. What mandates did Burton have to follow?
This guy tackles it in his video on the film, and there are a lot of examples I could list, but just to sum up, it's things like them casting the actor who played "Bob" just because he was friends with Jack Nicholson in real life, one of the producers rewriting the climax without Burton's knowledge, as well as insisting on Prince doing the soundtrack (which Burton was opposed to) that shows Batman '89 was an artistically compromised project on the whole.



Movie Forums Squirrel Jumper
Oh okay thanks, that was a good video . I would say that Batman 89 is the 7th best Batman movie, and Batman Returns the 8th, so it's only one step up I think, and not much of a difference, I just thought BR was more over the top, and therefore slightly worse.



That elusive hide-and-seek cow is at it again
Returns was extremely unfocused with its plotting, and TDK is a better film as a result, but I definitely still prefer it to '89, which felt quite soulless due to all the studio mandates Burton had to follow while making it (and even he later said that he found it to be kind of boring as a result); BR was where he got to let his "freak flag fly", which makes it the better Batman film for me.

Not a criticism just curious for clarity: do you personally find it better than Batman FOR the knowledge of Burton's restrictions? Or do you feel it's a better movie even if you didn't know the behind the scenes stuff?



The '89 Batman came at a time when I was hungry for a big screen dark version of Batman, given that I was a huge fan of the Frank Miller comic The Dark Knight Returns, which is still my favorite comic of all-time. So the '89 film help feed some of that hunger with its style and mood. Yes, Jack Nicholson pretty much stole the show because he was The Joker, but he was still Jack at that time when all he had to do was open his mouth and most crowds loved it. But I had some problems with the movie, especially the dialogue, like:
"I'm of a mind to make some mookie." ???? I'd never heard that word before and am still not sure how it applies when the Joker says it because I've looked it up all over the internet and the Urban dictionary and it doesn't really fit.
" Never rub another man's rhubarb." ???
"Hello, Vinny. It's your Uncle Bingo. Time to pay the check!" ???
"Who is that loss?" (I know what he means here, but still, stupid, IMO)

The characters of Alexander Know and Vicky Vale. As pretty as she is in the movie, I thought Kim Bassinger was as stiff and dull as a stump. And I like Robert Wuhl but I didn't like his Knox character. His dialogue was stupid to me for the most part. I feel these characters took up too much screen time away from Batman. And another gripe---Batman was a supporting character in his own movie.

Didn't like Alfred, Batman/Bruce Wayne's most trusted ally, bringing Vicki Vale into the Bat Cave! What a betrayal!

Now, in the second half of the movie, I think the Joker was better as he got a little more funny like the Joker should be (while still crazy).
Although, just to put a laugh into the movie, the Joker is seen pulling out a handgun with the world's longest barrel and shooting down the Batwing. And the Batwing totally missing the Joker when Batman's got him totally in his crosshairs. Of course I get it, can't kill the Joker before the movie's running time is over but it makes Batman, the guy who had the freaking Batwing built to his specifications look like he doesn't know what he's doing.

I could go on but why? Still, for nostalgia's sake I still watch the move from time-to-time for the Michael Keaton stuff.

And Batman Returns went a long way towards correcting things. I love this movie.
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Not a criticism just curious for clarity: do you personally find it better than Batman FOR the knowledge of Burton's restrictions? Or do you feel it's a better movie even if you didn't know the behind the scenes stuff?
It's definitely the latter, as I knew absolutely nothing about the productions of either film when I first watched them when I was a teen, and I was still far more engaged by Returns anyway (although knowing the behind-the-scenes details now still reinforces my initial impressions, that '89 was more of a studio project, while Burton got to go full auteur with Returns). Actually, I saw Returns before I watched '89, and the reversed order only emphasized my lack of interest in it, since the whole time I was thinking "Wow, Returns was so much more compelling than this!".
And another gripe---Batman was a supporting character in his own movie.
To be fair, he was that in Returns as well, but even moreso if this IMDB'ers list is accurate; the thing for me is, I didn't care if he was a supporting player in BR, since Selina was such a compelling, well-developed character, much more than Bruce, The Joker, or anyone else in '89 was.