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Batman (1989)

4.5 out of 5 stars 1,742 customer reviews

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(Jan 01, 1997)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

After witnessing his parents brutal murder as a child, millionaire-philanthropist Bruce Wayne pledges his life to fighting crime disguised as Batman. His long-time nemesis, The Joker, has sinister plans for the citizens of Gotham City. His greed is matched by his obsession with photojournalist Vicki Vale. But Batman is there to counter the Joker's every move. With the fate of Gotham and Vicki in the balance, will good or evil prevail?

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Thanks to the ambitious vision of director Tim Burton, the blockbuster hit of 1989 delivers the goods despite an occasionally spotty script, giving the caped crusader a thorough overhaul in keeping with the crime fighter's evolution in DC Comics. Michael Keaton strikes just the right mood as the brooding "Dark Knight" of Gotham City; Kim Basinger plays Gotham's intrepid reporter Vicki Vale; and Jack Nicholson goes wild as the maniacal and scene-stealing Joker, who plots a takeover of the city with his lethal Smilex gas. Triumphant Oscar-winning production design by the late Anton Furst turns Batman into a visual feast, and Burton brilliantly establishes a darkly mythic approach to Batman's legacy. Danny Elfman's now-classic score propels the action with bold, muscular verve. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: MICHAEL KEATON
  • Format: Dolby, NTSC, Color
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG-13
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
  • Run Time: 126 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,742 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0790729652
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,076 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Batman (1989)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Benjamin J Burgraff VINE VOICE on November 20, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The worldwide success of Christopher Nolan's "Batman Begins" has prompted Warner Bros. to finally release Tim Burton's 1989 "Batman" with an extra disc of special features...and this is an event worth cheering about!

A groundbreaking cinematic achievement (and one of the most expensive films ever produced, to that time), "Batman" was a tremendous gamble, and the story behind the ten-year struggle to bring it to the screen is fascinating! It is a tale of visionaries, beginning with Michael Uslan, a young student/Batman fan, who not only convinced his university to include comics in their curriculum, but, fired up by Richard Donner's "Superman", knew a Batman film could be just as powerful, and took the idea, with Batman creator Bob Kane's blessing, to Hollywood; of Peter Gruber and Jon Peters, who listened to Uslan, after every studio had passed on it, saw the potential, and decided to gamble; of Sam Hamm, who had a "Batman" script in his head, praying to get the chance to write it; and, most importantly, of Tim Burton, whose dark, quirky sensibilities made him THE director to film it, despite only two feature films to his credit.

This remarkable story, with archival footage and new interviews, is the highlight of disc two, but there is much, much more! Did you know that Robin was scripted to make an appearance in the first film? That Sean Young, not Kim Basinger, had been cast as Vicki Vale? That the Batmobile, designed by Oscar-winner Anton Furst, could actually do 95 mph (and that Tim Burton drove it, once?) That the room where disfigured Jack Nicholson received his unsuccessful plastic surgery was actually a studio prop room? Each chapter is a revelation!
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Format: DVD
This film proved to the world that comic book films could be much more than action-packed carnage festivals. This film (and the first sequel "Batman Returns") have so much more to it than that. "Batman" is a gripping and very moving exploration of the psyche; it peers into the souls of not only the Dark Knight, but also those of the people whose lives he changes with his presence. The film is brilliantly acted by its perfectly-chosen cast, which includes Jack Nicholson (the Joker), Michael Keaton (the Batman), Kim Basinger (Vicki Vale), Micheal Gough (Alfred Pennyworth), and Robert Wuhl (Alexander Knox). Tim Burton makes perfect use of his wonderful directorial talents, Anton Furst designs a gothic, beautiful Gotham City, and Danny Elfman's classic musical score further help make this a unique, thought-provoking, and very powerful modern classic, a masterpiece of film noir and grand opera. "Batman Returns shares these wonderful qualities, but, sadly, Joel Schumacher's "Batman Forever" and "Batman and Robin" lose all of that depth and meaning, and become little more than standard mindless action. But, we'll always have Burton's dark vision of a haunted and brooding Batman.
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Format: Blu-ray
Tim Burton's 1989 classic is a must-see for Batman fans.
the blu-ray steelbook is a must-have for enthusiasts.

i can still remember going to see this movie in a jam-packed theater.
a true blockbuster, it was the top-grossing film in North America that year.
great acting, great story, great soundtrack, great movie.

Michael Keaton's Batman is dark, brooding, and tormented. i loved Keaton in Beetlejuice but didn't think he could pull this role off until i saw it for myself. Jack Nicholson was unforgettable as the Joker. Nicholson's joker is maniacal magic. not as dark as Ledger's (The Dark Night), but much more fun. Kim Bassinger is Vicki Vale, whose affections are pursued by both Batman and the Joker.

Prince's soundtrack is awesome. the score (Danny Elfman) is well done. the costumes are great and the set design won an Oscar. plus...all of Batman's "wonderful toys".

great special features (unchanged from the 20th anniversary release):

+ Commentary by Director Tim Burton
+ On the Set with Bob Kane
+ Legends of the Dark Knight: The History of Batman - The Comic Book Saga as Reinvented and Reintrepeted over Seven Decades
+ Shadows of the Bat: The Cinematic Saga of the Dark Knight Parts 1-3
+ The Road to Gotham City
+ The Gathering Storm
+ The Legend Reborn
+ Beyond Batman Documentary Gallery (6 Featurettes) - Visualizing Gotham: The Production Design of Batman / Building the Batmobile / Those Wonderful Toys: The Props and Gadgets of Batman / Designing the Batsuit / From Jack to the Joker / Nocturnal Overtures: The Music of Batman
+ 3 Prince Music Videos: Batdance, Partyman and Scandalous
+ Heroes and The Villains Profile Galleries
+ Batman: The Complete Robin Storyboard Sequence
+ Theatrical Trailer
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Now near 25 years removed from its production, Tim Burton's original Batman has slowly lost faded into the background of the modern superhero film landscape. As newer - and admittedly wonderful - superhero movies such as The Dark Knight and The Avengers continue to dazzle and amaze audiences with spectacular special effects and genre-bending writing, the more people seem to forget the much more modest and serene Batman film. Which, I believe, is a grave mistake. For while it may not have had the technological advancements at the time to provide stunning effects and epic storytelling, Tim Burton's directorial effort in Batman is, without question, one of most talented and intelligent efforts ever made in film itself - let alone in the superhero genre.

I'll forgo any plot description as I'm sure it's quite well known by this point and more importantly because the plot acts merely as a sandbox for much more brilliant achievements in acting, directing and cinematography.

The first I'll touch upon is the cinematography. The beautifully rendered gothic landscape that Anton Furst creates in the sets and scenery of Batman is immediately evident upon first viewing of the film. But what is probably much less evident to most viewers, is just how much Burton and his production team borrowed from German Expressionism and the silent filmmaking of first three decades of the 20th century. As someone who's seen a fair share of silent films - and more importantly - films from that small window in the 1930s were sound was a new and somewhat mysterious concept for filmmakers, it's slowly become apparent to me that advent of sound has led to a deterioration of visual storytelling and acting. In short, sound has made today's filmmakers lazy.
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