March 20, 2019


It’s hard to remember now, but back in 1989 everyone raved about how the Tim Burton Batman was wonderfully “dark” after the campy Sixties TV version. Twenty years later Christopher Nolan’s version made Burton look like Mel Brooks, but Nolan’s “dark knight” will wind up as the camp crusader sooner or later. It seems to be an inevitable trajectory for the franchise. One consequence of “darkening” Batman is that it makes him rather dull — and the villains tend to become rather more lurid and vivid. What do you remember about Burton’s first Batman? Jack Nicholson’s star turn as the Joker. Batman Returns? Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman, even though her mask didn’t fit. A few months afterwards, I remember passing a store window with a huge poster: “BATMAN RETURNS THE VIDEO.” And I thought: who can blame him?

Heh. Read the whole thing.