Behind the black cowl, Gotham City superhero Batman is really millionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton), who turned to crimefighting after his parents were brutally murdered before his eyes. The only person to share Wayne's secret is faithful butler Alfred (Michael Gough). The principal villain in Batman is The Joker (Jack Nicholson) who'd been mob torpedo Jack Napier before he was horribly disfigured in a vat of acid. The Joker's plan to destroy Batman and gain control of Gotham City is manifold. First he distributes a line of booby-trapped cosmetics, then he goes on a destruction spree in the Gotham Art Museum while the music of Prince blasts away in the background, and finally he orchestrates an all-out campaign to win the hearts and minds of the Gothamites, hoping to turn them against the Cowled One. Meanwhile, reporter Vicki Vale (Kim Basinger) becomes the love of Batman's life-which of course plays right into the Joker's hands. Photographed by Roger Pratt, designed by Anton Furst, and scored by Tim Burton's favorite composer Danny Elfman, Batman was a monstrous box-office hit, making $100 million in the first ten days of release--$82,800,000 in North America alone. Incidentally, Billy Dee Williams' comparatively small role as DA Harvey Dent was originally designed to set up the sequel, wherein Dent was to convert into master criminal Two-Face; but by the time the producers got around to that character in 1995's Batman Forever, Two-Face was played by Tommy Lee Jones.~Hal Erickson
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 Reinterpreted 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: Visualizing Gotham: The Production Design Of Batman
Building The Batmobile
Those Wondeful Toys: The Props and Gadgets Of Batman
Designing The Bat-Suit
From Jack To The Joker
Nocturnal Overtures: The Music Of Batman
3 Prince Music Videos: Batdance, Partyman and Scandalous
Since the release of The Dark Knight and Heath Ledger's legendary portrayal of the Joker we seem to forget where Batman really started. For the time period Jack Nicholson's Joker was very dark in it's own right. He was clever and comedic and just like Ledger, Nicholson makes this 1988 Batman film. The Dark Knight is my favorite movie all time but sometimes it's fun to refer back to our origins!
I would recommend this to a friend
Rating 5 out of 5 stars with 1 review
The old Batman movies like this one and Returns have excellent cinematography.
They are unique in their own way compared to the newer trilogy. But both series are excellent and the 5 are the only really good cinematography movies in the entire comic genre. Both series also have unique soundtracks as well that are the best within the genre. Usually comic book movies border on the ridiculous side of things but Batman tends to be more realistic since the character is not given super powers that are begging for computer graphics. So that said, the first movie from 89 really showed what a comic book movie could be if put in a more gritty realistic setting with no computer effects, that is, a really good movie with seriousness involved. Compare to the newer trilogy, this one has been outclassed but it is still very much superior to every other comic book movie out there today. Do yourself a favor and buy this movie and Returns from 1992 and top it off with the newer trilogy. Then your comic book movie collection is complete. Just skip everything else as unless you enjoy corny dialogues, over the top sillyness, and fake looking videogame graphics generated action sequences. Now let's talk about the 'Batazzery' of this movie if you weeyil.
I would recommend this to a friend
Rating 4 out of 5 stars with 1 review
Unfit packaging for a classic film.
Owned for 11 months when reviewed.
I understand this was part of the Batman 1989-1997 collection that shared the same packaging design, but I always detest designs that fail to capture the era whence it originated. Being around when this was first released, there was a very tangible spirit about it captured in its own iconic logo down to its typeface. Here, they decided to go with a bland, modern design that captures none of its mystique; just Keaton & Jack floating over a white background and city that totally contradicts the Dark Knight. Such a shame, too, because the film's presentation here is as great as I've ever seen it. The BD's special features are all standard def but plentiful (the inclusion of Prince's Batdance is such a sweet blast from the past). If you're here just for the film, then it's an alright release. Otherwise, I would seek out a much stronger stylistic design befitting of 1989.
I bought this at Best Buy for $19 and I have seen this cheaper before in the past but I decided to get it because I thought the price was fair and I have seen the other Batman movies such as The Dark Knight trilogy and those were good movies and I have seen Ben Affleck as Batman in some of the DCEU movies. I did see this movie twice on Blu-Ray and I enjoyed it.
I imagine there aren't many people who haven't seen Batman, so I'll skill right to the A/V treatment. In short, it's terrific- for such a dark film, there are never any issues with shadows, and the bright highlights are impressive. And though there are still some grainy shots due to the age of the film, I can't imagine it looking any better than it does on this disc. The audio quality is on the same impressive level, as well. I will mention that some of the gunshot effects have been changed for this release, but it doesn't have any negative effect. This is a must-buy for fans of the movie, and highly recommended for anybody even remotely interested.
Bar none, the finest this movie has ever looked. The 4K is amazing. The standard Blu-ray uses the same transfer from the 4K and is also stunning. Yes, some shots look soft, but that's due to the nature of how those specific shots were assembled 30 years ago.
With the exception of one bonus feature, you'll find every previously released feature on the Blu-ray? What's missing? The bonus feature "Batman: Birth of the Modern Blockbuster" from the 25th anniversary Blu-ray. It was on its own separate disc on that release. To be fair, though, it is on the digital edition of the movie. So, assuming one likes digital releases and this 4K still comes packed with a digital copy, it should be easy to obtain a copy of that bonus feature.
I realize the ‘89 Batman movie has gotten a lot of criticism in recent years after the release of modern movies like The Dark Knight and Captain America The Winter Soldier. But I still feel that this film was revolutionary and ushered in the era of superhero movies we now enjoy.
Whether you like the story or not, I would find it impossible to deny that the design of this film is stunning. And seeing this movie, FINALLY, in crystal clear 4K is the way this movie needs to be seen as it’s never looked so good! Having been shot on film, this movie hugely benefits from the 4K Upgrade in picture, and also in sound! With a great sound system in place, the sound effects and bombastic score by Danny Elfman are just incredible!! I have no problem saying that this is easily the best way to see this movie and it’s worth every cent.
The set comes with a 4K disc and a regular blu ray disc that sports all the same special features as previous releases. Unfortunately, this does NOT come with the Diamond Luxe feature “Making Of the Modern Blockbuster” which is a bummer and there are no new features to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the movie or the 80th anniversary of Batman.