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Topic: When did they go wrong with Superman? Post Reply | Post New Topic
David Teller
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Joined: 05 June 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 194
Posted: 28 October 2021 at 12:00pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Superman: The Movie - I enjoyed as a child - and missed the campiness exaggerated in the sequels. I think the original still holds up but the sequels do not.

Batman 89 - I loved loved as a kid and still do now. That was my second exposure to the character after the 66 TV show (which I hated the silliness of! I was a super serious child) so for me that was "Batman".

That makes me a bit of a civilian on these characters rather than a fanboy. I feel the later films of both have never got the characters aligned with the versions created above.. which was my standard (lacking the comic books.)

As a grown-up, perhaps Batman should be a bit more "animated series" then he is now. Superman can still match the seventies movie for me.

Edited by David Teller on 28 October 2021 at 12:00pm
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Peter Martin
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Joined: 17 March 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 14603
Posted: 28 October 2021 at 2:07pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

A major disappointment in the 89 Batman came in the opening moments.

I first read The Dark Knight Returns in early 1989 -- loved it -- so the film came at the right time for me. One of the many elements I loved in Miller's tale was the idea that 'it only takes one bullet'. And then we have him being shot in the opening minutes and then rising up because he is bulletproof.

And the Joker killed his parents. Give me a break.
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Mike Benson
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Joined: 04 January 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 763
Posted: 28 October 2021 at 2:30pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Roberto, all due credit for the explanation.  But if I got to work that hard to explain a movie, I'm out.  And I doubt that much thought went into it.  Likely a product of Lester taking over for Donner which led to the film being so uneven. 

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Tony Marin
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Joined: 28 August 2018
Posts: 91
Posted: 29 October 2021 at 5:54am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

@ Peter Martin. Geez you think Batman taking a bullet like that in the 89 Movie was bad. Have you seen the latest trailer for the new one? Hes freaking walking though machine gun fire like hes Superman!
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John Byrne

Imaginary X-Man

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 128361
Posted: 29 October 2021 at 6:09am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

When it comes to Batman, moviemakers are simply unable to accept that he is able to do what he does because he's really good at it.

I could spend the rest of the year listing all the things I find wrong with the 1989 BATMAN, but one of the big ones is very, very early in the movie. When the badguys shoot "the Bat" and thus discover he's wearing body armor, the whole psychology of the character is lost.

Batman is a guy in a leotard who can't be killed. Establish he's armored up, and he's just a guy. A guy can be killed.

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Michael Penn
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Joined: 12 April 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 11751
Posted: 29 October 2021 at 7:08am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

"Criminals... my disguise must be able to strike terror into their hearts."

A person without a single super-power who, somehow, almost supernaturally, cannot be killed... that's pretty damned scary!
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Carlos Velasco
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Joined: 02 August 2019
Location: Spain
Posts: 240
Posted: 29 October 2021 at 7:14am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I haven't watched Batman "89" in ages. I didn't realize when I watched it at 9 years old in the cinema, but now I agree with some of the bad things that people say about it:

- Commissioner Gordon's lack of importance: I agree with this. Tim Burton not reading comics as a child because "he didn't know what panel he should read next" was probably a main cause for it.

- Sleeping with Vicky Vale too fast: I agree with this. Batman is normally more cautious.

- Michael Keaton being too short and thin: I agree with this. A good actor that the director already knew, but I'm sure other choice would have been better. Christian Bale is an example of a better choice.

- The bulletproof thing: I kind of disagree. It's another version of Batman where he uses other techniques to avoid being killed. More realistic than avoiding all bullets, probably. Was not an issue for me as a child.

- Batman killing people: I agree that this is not OK, even if I didn't know about it in 1989.

- The Joker killing Bruce's parents: I disagree with this being an issue. The change made the story more interesting.

- The Joker being "a different character in each scene": I disagree with this being a problem. It's more fun this way, right?

- Bruce Wayne being too selfish: I probably disagree with this, assuming Bruce is only using that personality as a shield so that people think he doesn't care about crime and moral.

The Batman 89 2021 comic is weird not only because Michael Keaton's face is terribly drawn, but because it does things like introducing a new hero in issue #1. They should have made a Batman 70 (based in the comics) instead.

Edited by Carlos Velasco on 29 October 2021 at 7:17am
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Peter Martin
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Joined: 17 March 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 14603
Posted: 29 October 2021 at 11:50am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

The Joker killing Bruce's parents: I disagree with this being an issue. The change made the story more interesting.
All outrageous coincidences are interesting. I find this unsatisfying when it's part of a fictional narrative.
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Dave Kopperman
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Joined: 27 December 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2574
Posted: 29 October 2021 at 12:14pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Yeah, the Joker being the killer of Thomas & Martha (MAAARTHA!!!) doesn't graft well onto Batman.  Unlike Peter Parker, who is motivated by personal guilt at having failed to act, Batman emerges from the idea of a force to fight the random and faceless nature of crime.  

A Batman who gets anywhere near the idea of a need for revenge isn't Batman - though it does seem to be a fairly common wish-list item for Batman fandom.  I lived in college with a guy who was a huge Bat-fan - his life-sized cardboard standee of Bat-Keaton stood in the corner of our TV room all of my Junior year.  The Batman short story he wrote that year ended with Batman deliberately beating the Joker to death.

Edited by Dave Kopperman on 29 October 2021 at 4:00pm
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Peter Martin
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Joined: 17 March 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 14603
Posted: 29 October 2021 at 1:22pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

I actually prefer the original version where the killer is just some anonymous criminal to the later tale that identifies Joe Chill as the killer. Having it instead be the Joker makes it even further inferior, for me (and we also have the double whammy of telling us who the Joker used to be).

Take a strength of the character (no ones knows who he used to be) and solve it! Nicely done.
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Rodrigo castellanos
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Joined: 03 July 2012
Location: Uruguay
Posts: 1119
Posted: 29 October 2021 at 9:01pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Making the Joker Batman's parents' killer is one of the all-time worst cinematic adaptations decisions ever.

What I hate the most about it is how "Hollywood" it is. That need to tie a knot that didn't need to be tied. It can seem to make sense at first, if you're thinking extremely short-term and for the sake of one movie, but it doesn't and never will.

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Brian Floyd
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Joined: 07 July 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 7802
Posted: 30 October 2021 at 12:23am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Two things that would have made the 1989 movie better:

1. Leaving out Joker being the Waynes' murderer.

2. A scene before going into the chemical vat where `Jack Napier' reveals his name is an alias. And that's it. 

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