Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Michael Keaton: THE Best Batman on film.....period.

I know that at this point in Batman's cinematic life we are all supposed to be creaming our pants becauase of what Nolan has done to re-invent the franchise. Nothing wrong with that at all, he made two damn fine movies and in the case of "The Dark Knight" I'd easily say that it is one of the greatest sequels ever made hands down. Now having said that, and given myself a little time and distance from the Nolan-verse, I decided to go back and revisit Tim Burton's take on Gotham City and the freaks who inhabit its dark alleys. I came to two conclusions. The first being that the 1989 "Batman" is still an amazing movie (also my favorite Batman movie)and can be looked back upon as the first dark super hero tale brought to the silver screen. The second is that Michael Keaton is, was, and always will be my favorite Batman.

Not very many people (myself included) thought that Mr. Mom and Beetlejuice would be a good choice to don the cowl and patrol the rooftops of Gotham. I remember hearing about the casting choice pre-internet days and thoughts of the campy tv series immediately popped into my head. But the moment you saw him kicking the shit out of a couple of low lifes......Keaton vanished.......there was only Batman and the immediate realization that this was the moment the Dark Knight was born on film.

The evidence is actually pretty overwhelming in Keaton's favor. I know Clooney and Kilmer had their time, but I don't even count those turd-biscuit films so it boils down to a contest between Bale and Keaton. It's kind of like the old who is a better James Bond debate. A lot of actors played that role, but it usually ends up being an argument about Connery or Moore. (Moore please thank you) So in the argument for Keaton we must simply let the facts make the case.

The first thing that I notice is that Bale's Batman though he is a trained ninja, is kind of a pussy. I'm not sure where Batbale's code of never killing the bad guy came from, but it sucks balls. When Keaton was cornered, he had no trouble shoving a timebomb down a guys pants.....dropping a hoodlum several stories down to his doom.....or incinerating some schmuck dumb enough to stand behind the batmobile's jet engine. Bale actually saves the Joker....fuck that. Keaton had no problem bat-roping the Joker's leg to a gargoyle and letting him fall to his death. Winner.......Keaton

The next thing that concerns me is the voice of Batman. It seems that a lot of people are really bothered by what Bale does with his personification. It's like he's trying too hard to talk like a badass. One can argue that Batman is a separate personality so the voice should be noticibly different than Bruce Wayne's. I have also heard that in post production they intentionally mucked with Bale's voice to make it even angrier sounding. The fact that people notice this at all is a strike against Batbale. When I go back and listen to Keaton....I only hear Batman. I know that he is doing something different with his voice......but it doesn't stand out. I have never heard anybody complain about what Keaton did with the bat-vocals. Winner.......Keaton again.

suttle......yet effective

overkill perhaps???? you be the judge.

Now let's talk about poon-tang for a bit. I know Batbale is seen a few times scoring hot models and dancers, but as far as hooking a righteous....intelligent....gorgeous piece of ass with possible relationship implications, we again cannot ignore the facts. Katie Holmes while cute with her puppy dog eyes.......does not stand a chance against 80's era goddess Kim Basinger. No argument attempted or allowed. In TDK it's a different actress, same character, same outcome. I think Maggie Gyllenhaal is a fine actress. Not super hot or anything, but attractive nonetheless. Bale doesn't even bed the wench in the film so that should make him the loser from the get go right? Wrong. The reason Batbale loses here is because nothing they could have done would have been hotter than Michelle Pfeiffer in the dominatrix catsuit licking Batman's face......meow!
Winner.......Keaton by a landslide!

Bow before the goddess!

Pfeiffer....just all kinds of delicious naughty!

As far as Bruce Wayne goes, they are being portrayed in two different points in their lives. Bale is a younger cockier man while Keaton is older and wiser so it's difficult to say one is actually better than the other here. I like what both actors do.'s a draw.

Overall each actor brings a unique approach to the table, perhaps nostalgia kicks in a little and makes me biased towards Keaton, but Bale is a new comtemporary Batman and I very much look forward to another outing with him donning the tights. If they were to ever adapt Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns" into a movie......I would drool at the prospect of an older Keaton bringing the tale of a retired Batman to the screen! Now lets talk Joker...the best one is definately........ah hell....that's a whole another post!!!!


  1. Good blog, I come down on the side of Bale myself. There's an online Batman that has exactly the same debate in a youtuve video here, after the intro bit:

  2. Keaton's/Burton's Batman is def more of a badass.
    "You wanna Get nuts? Let's Get Nuts!"
    I do appreciate that Nolan wants to add more social commentary and realism, but it's Batman, suspension of disbelief is a given.