16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2006
There are two DVD box sets that contain the Batman movies of Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher - The Batman Legacy and The Batman Motion Picture Anthology. My advice is to see these movies ahead of time, and buy the ones you like individually. I GUARANTEE YOU WON'T WANT TO BUY ALL FOUR MOVIES - unless of course, you're a DVD collector like me, who loves DVD extras. A serious DVD collector will not buy The Batman Legacy - they'll shell out some extra coin to get The Batman Motion Picture Anthology. That box set comes with 18 hours of extras. The Batman Legacy doesn't have any good DVD extras, so movie buffs won't be interested in getting that box set. But if you don't care about DVD extras, and just want to acquire all four films, you may as well get The Batman Legacy.
As a fan of the Batman comics, I can recognize a lot of problems with all four movies. The first two were directed by Tim Burton, and are generally well-liked today. But the last two were directed by Joel Schumacher, and they're generally reviled by everyone. These Batman movies show what happens when a popular series is put in the hands of a director with a completely different vision, who ultimately destroys the series. THAT is the lasting legacy of this series. The series lost a lot of steam after Schumacher made Batman Forever, a movie that alienated a lot of Batman fans. Then Schumacher made Batman & Robin - and the series lost all credibility after that movie came out. In the case of the Harry Potter movies, Chris Columbus (who directed the first two Potter movies) said he wanted to ensure that the next Potter director would not stray too far from the style of his first two movies - and he cited this Batman series as an example of what he hoped to avoid.
Burton's movies are enjoyable - but a little ridiculous. Some of the villains and goons were a bit too cartoonish for my liking in Batman Returns, but they're WAY too cartoonish in the Schumacher movies. However, the character of Batman in Burton's movies is perfect. Batman may be a hero, but the character is so dark and gritty that there's a real malevolence to him. The Kilmer and Clooney Batmen didn't have that malevolence - so viewers won't experience the sense of awe and wonder that Keaton's Batman evoked from them.
Harvey Dent (Billy Dee Williams) is in the first Batman movie. He doesn't turn into Two-Face in this movie. I figure they wanted Dent to appear in this movie with the hope of making him a villain in a future sequel. Williams doesn't add much of anything to this movie - but it would have been AWESOME if Burton had Williams play Two-Face in a Batman sequel. Too bad Two-Face doesn't appear until Batman Forever, when Schumacher took over. Even though Batman Forever is a sequel, Schumacher completely ignores Williams' portrayal of Dent, and cooks up a completely different character for Tommy Lee Jones to play. In a Burton movie, it's safe to say that Williams would be playing a leaner, meaner and less eccentric Two-Face than we saw in Schumacher's movie. The first Batman is also the only movie of the series where the villain's goons are cool - but they would have been cooler if they kept their old fashioned mobster appearance of fedoras and trenchcoats. The goons in Batman Begins are ninjas - and there are few things on Earth that are cooler than ninjas.
Batman Forever was a rude awakening for those of us who expected the Batman series to retain the same style as Burton's movies. Schumacher and the writers didn't know how to make a good Batman movie, and Kilmer was miscast as Batman. Batman didn't deserve the title of 'World's Greatest Detective' in Batman Forever. He should've done some investigating into Nygmatech when he suspected that "the box" could be used for evil purposes. Batman certainly dropped the ball that time. Anyway, Schumacher was trying to make Batman Forever a much more lighthearted film. Then he made the travesty that is Batman and Robin, which is like an updated remake of Batman: The Movie and the Adam West TV series. And for the record, I'm a big fan of the Adam West TV show. That show was a product of its time. But IT'S NOT suitable for this day and age - Schumacher should've known better. But I imagine he was a huge fan of the TV series, and this was probably his way of paying homage to it. Another serious problem with his movies was the way the villains were portrayed. Bane, Poison Ivy, Mr. Freeze, The Riddler, and Two-Face were all too obnoxious and/or annoying for my liking. I expect The Joker to behave like a clown, but TWO-FACE and MR. FREEZE? What was Schumacher thinking?
Let me put it this way. If you loved Batman and/or Batman Returns, you'll probably be able to tolerate Batman Forever, but you'll HATE Batman and Robin. If you love the Adam West TV show, you might like Schumacher's movies. But it's hard to say, because Batman & Robin is a terrible movie, whether you like bright and cheerful superhero movies or not. Fans of the Batman comic books will appreciate Burton's movies, dislike Schumacher's movies, and LOVE Batman Begins - but that movie isn't a part of this Batman series, so it's not in this DVD set.
I myself will be getting the Anthology - I'd LOVE to hear the commentaries from Schumacher. I'm curious to hear what he was thinking as he made those movies. Thank God Batman Begins came along - the start of an entirely NEW Batman series. Now I can forget about Schumacher's movies, and all the problems with Burton's movies. I like Burton's two movies a lot. But Christopher Nolan's NEW BATMAN SERIES will become the best comic book movie series of all-time. Mark my words.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2005
The first two Batman were good. About as good you can get from a man dressing in a bat costume. But the two next were utter parody. With both Batmans (Kilmer and Clooney) just don't bringing the right feelings to the screen. Well let's put it this way: if you'd liked Batman begins you'll probably enjoy half the DVD set which certainly doesn't worth its price of 70 bucks. Rather buy the two Tim Burton's and the latest by Christopher Nolan.
on March 18, 2004
This is a great movie and I recomened it too anyone who has ever liked Tim Burton, Batman, or action movies. So you should think about getting this set. Some of these films can be dark sometimes but they will always remain entertaining. Michael Keaton is the best actor for Batman. George Clooney is a great actor but he wasn't too good as Batman and Val Kilmer was almost as good Michael. If they ever did make a 5th Batman movie, they should use Michael Keaton, even thou he is getting quite old. But who the hell cares. These are great films that you could watch with your kids, just don't let kids under 5 watch the second one. It is a bit too dark for younger viewers. But I'm sure you can let your kids under 5 watch the other ones.
Batman-This is the best one of the series of coarse and has the best bad guy, The Joker played by, who else but Jack Nicholson. He's the only one who could have done the Joker. This film isn't as dark as the others and is a great action film.
Rated PG-13 for violence, mild graphic violence, stylized action and some language.
Batman Returns-This is a great film and was one dark dark movie. Danny DeVito was great as the Penguin and made it an enjoyable bad guy, not like alot of bad guys out there today.
Michael Keaton is Batman for the last time in this one.
Rated PG-13 for violence, dark humor, language, and stylized action.
Batman Forever-Val Kilmer should have been Batman is Batman and Robin. He is almost as good as Keaton is. This time the bad guys are The Riddler played by the one and only Jim Carrey, and Two Face as the great Tommy Lee Jones. The thrid time around is great for most third sequels never really work out.
Rated PG-13 for violence, dark humor, and stylized action.
Batman and Robin-This is an ok entry in the Batman series but could have been much better. I think Joel rushed through it to get it out as quick as possible. George Clooney puts up an ok job as Batman and Arnold is awsome as Mr. Freeze. And that's my opinian.
Rated PG-13 for violence and stylized action.
So all in all I would have to give this set a 9/10 and is well worth your money.
on December 6, 2003
Batman,***1\2,The first Batman movie,has Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne\Batman trying to save Gotham City and Vicki Vale from The Joker.Lots of special effects and good performances with a good cast Michael Keaton,Kim Basinger,Jack Nicholson.The 2nd best Batman movie ever.
Batman Returns,*****,The 1st best Batman movie ever,more darker,clever,scarier,funnier and has better special effects than the first,Batman most save Gotham City from two villians The Penguin and Catwoman.A good cast Michael Keaton,Michelle Pfeiffer,Danny DeVito,Michael Murphy,Christopher Walken,Paul Ruebens,Jan Hooks.
Batman Forever,**1\2,So-So Batman movie with new director Joel Shumacher and a new Batman played by Val Kilmer,also introduces two new villians Two-Face and The Riddler and Batman's partner Robin,Batman most save Gotham from Two-Face and The Riddler.Good special effects and cast but Tommy Lee Jones performance as Two-Face is his worst role ever and Jim Carrey as The Riddler really missed up as the villian,also Chris O' Donnell as Robin was so stupid.
Batman and Robin,0 stars,the worst Batman movie ever.Joel Shumacher really missed up this franchise,George Clooney as Bruce Wayne\Batman was terrible,while Chris O'Donnell as Robin is stupider than he was in FOREVER,Alicia Slverstone was awful as Batgirl,now villians Mr. Freeze played by Arnold Schwarzenegger was horrible and Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy was horrible.a bad cast only special effects help.Terrible movie from start to finish.
on October 13, 2003
Now,I don't have this set sadly,but I own all four movies.The first film,Batman,is a terrific movie directed by Tim Burton and starring Kim Basinger,Jack Nicholson and Michael Keaton.The film won a Oscar for production design.The second best of the series.
The second film,Batman Returns,is also the darkest of the films.Tim Burton direct this one as well.Michael Keaton returns as Batman and does an even better job than he did in the first one.Christopher Walken,Michell Pfeifier,and Danny Devito costar in a film that is not as good as the first one,but is still pretty enjoyable.The worst of the series,but still enjoyable.
The Third Film ,Batman Forever, is lighter than the other two.In this one,Val kilmer plays Batman and is even better than Keaton,in my opinion.This time,Batman must battle the combined forces of the Riddler(an ohilarious Jim Carrey)and Two-Face(Tommy Lee Jones)while trying to have a romatic relationship with Dr. Chase Meridan(NIcole Kidman).Robin also comes in this one and is played by Chris o'Donnel.The best of the films.
The fourth,Batman and Robin,may disapoint you,but it's still enjoyable.Mr.Freeze(Arnold Schwarzennegger),Poison Ivy(Uma Thurman),and Bane(Jeep Swenson),who combine forces to stop Batman and Robin.Batgirl also is in this in this one and is played by Alica Silverstone.This movie has amazing visual effects and action scenes.The third best of the series.
I hope my review help you.See these films if you you are a fan of Batman.
on July 11, 2003
Like I said the Batman films are not so much a legacy as say the Lord of the Rings or Star Wars movies, but more of a story that can keep being told over and over like James Bond.
BATMAN(1989)*****Very good movie. In fact really good. Michael Keaton proved nay-sayers wrong and pulled off and delightfuly dark, mysterious Batman. Jack Nicholson couldn't be praised more for his preformance as the Joker and Kim Basinger may not be the show stealer of the film but her role as the journalist turned damsell in distress came off nice. Also to note, Tim Burton as the director is great. He made Gotham City the way it should be, dark and mysterious, same as Batman. I like this film a lot compared to the others because Batman barely talks(the way he should be). Danny Elfman's score for the film makes the movie that much more enjoyable as well. You just can't help but get involved emotionally through his music. And the story was very well done explain who Bruce Wayne is and how Batman became a help, not a menace, to Gotham, and how the Joker was created. Truly, a classic film.
BATMAN RETURNS(1992)****1/2-This film is also really good and almost matches up to the first film. What with the same crew returning in Keaton(Batman), Burton(director), and Elfman(Composer). The new villians are also just as good as Nicholson. Danny Devito was fit perfectly for Penguin. Some people hate the idea that he was all bird and not much human, but I always pictured him like that. Catwomen, played by Michelle Pfeifer is also really impressive. Tough and sexy at the same time. The story is also really good, what with creating both villians and having it all around Christmas time gave the movie much more of a hit. I always wanted to see what Batman would be like in the winter.
BATMAN FOREVER(1995)****The movie drops a little from the first two what with the complete switch, not just in crew but it style. The first two were dark and mysterious(i know i keep saying that) and made for exciting movies, but the newer two are more colorful and comedic and bring out(in my opinion) the worst in Batman. This time Val Kilmer takes over the role of Batman, and actually he holds Batman up really well, as well as Wayne. Nicole Kidman as Chase Meridian was also really good. And the villians Tommy Lee Jones(Two-Face) was realistic and Jim Carrey(Riddler) was a sure thing. Chris O Donnell plays a decent Robin, a little uncomfortable on his own but which makes him a more powerful fighter. The director took the vision of Batman a little off, and the music was not nearly as compelling.(The old batman theme kicks ...). The story held up though re-introducing the idea if Bruce Wayne wants to keep being both himself and Batman and the death of his parents. Pretty good movie.
BATMAN & ROBIN(1997)**To quote George Clooney, "This is where everything goes north." This movie is no where near comparable to the first two and didnt hold up plot wise with the third. First off, the series lost Kilmer for Clooney. Clooney was a really good Wayne but as Batman he was horrible. Arnold Shwarznegger could have played a good Mr. Freeze I think with a different twist, but he was mr. laugh & fun and resulted in some of the worst lines in the history of life itself. Uma Thurman looks the part of Poison Ivy and stars out ok in the beginning but the villian never really took off as an opponent to Batman. Catwomen is the only true Batman female villian. Robin is Chris O Donnell again and Batgirl comes to the series by way of Alicia Silverstone. No although i think Batman should fight crime on his own, I could accept Robin, but Batgirl is too much of a team to keep Batman as great a force as he was in one and two. The reason I think the movie suffered was bad villians, and the idea that Batman was not as menacing a force as he was in the first three(Clooney practically shared the spotlight with O Donnell). The one thing I like of this movie is seeing how hard it was for Batman and Robin to get along and work together. Kinda interesting, and the hot outfit of Poison Ivy. Not a DVD worth purchasing.
In closing, the first two are classics which should be made into Collector's Edition DVD's and the third may not be physically as impossing but held up its own storyline wise, but the fourth was a throw away and should just be forgotten. I think a good idea for Batman 5 could be drop Robin and Batgirl, bring back Keaton as an aged Batman and have him take on a villian like the Phantasm person from the cartoon movie or something. They are running low on villians. Maybe bringing Jack Nicholson back somehow as an aged Joker would be cool too, I dont know. Anyway, buy the DVD pack and enjoy the first three but I'm sure you'll watch the fourth one collect dust for as long as you have it. Maybe you can get a dollar by selling it on ebay?
on July 7, 2003
BATMAN (1989)***** The best of the four.Batman must save Gotham from the evil Joker.This movie delivers action,comedy, and romance. What else could you ask for?! This movie was the movie of the 80's and won an Academy Award. You will love it I guarantee.
BATMAN RETURNS (1992)***** Tim Burton and Michael Keaton has done it again. This time Batman must save Gotham City from the evil Penguin and the mysterious Catwoman. This movie was awesome! You will love I guarantee.
BATMAN FOREVER (1995)***** This one is my favorite of the four. This time it is directed by Joel Shcumacher,Batman is played by Val Kilmer, and Robin makes his first appearance. This time Batman nad Robin must save Gotham City from Two-Face and The Riddler. This movie was awesome! You will love it I guarantee.
BATMAN AND ROBIN (1997)****. This movie was not good like the other three, but it is still entertaining. Joel Shcumacher did it again. This time Batman is played by George Clooney, and Batgirl makes her first appearance. Now the villans are Mr. Freeze, and Poisen Ivy. The reason I gave this movie 4 stars instead of 5, is because it did not have good villains. But the good thing about this film is that it has the best special effects, and action sequences of the four. You might like it.
I recommend the first three and the fourth only if you absolutly love the first three.
on June 30, 2003
I bought the dvd of the original Batman movie giving up hope that a better dvd would come out. Hell this one doesn't even have a trailer. Could use a commentary track by Tim Burton as well. Anyway doesn't look a special edition is being released anytime soon, god knows it deserves one.
Now to the movies. Tim Burton directed Batman and Batman Returns and critics found the film too dark. Well Joel Schmacher who took over after Burton the series got the wrong idea thinking that critics meant the series needed to be colorful. ...
Well anyway Burton's versions were moody and violent but...I liked the series a hell of a lot more that way. People complained that the Penguin shouldn't have really been a half penguin half man and that Cat women shouldn't have actually had 9 lives. Well that's silly I agree but a lot more clever than anything Joel brought to the series. Riddler and Two Face were like the villains of the old 60's Batman tv show, they just laugh non-stop with a bunch of dumb lines. Scary enough Batman & Robin was even more like the 60's tv show. George Clooney might have been a good Batman if he was working with Tim Burton and not a silly script full of terrible on-liners. Uma Thurman makes a good Poison Ivy but she has nothing but bad lines to say as well. No ones lines are as bad as Arnold's though as Mr. Freeze. Instead of being called Mr. Freeze his name should have been Nursery Rhyme Man. He was a really bad choice as well for the part. I also though Christopher Lloyd should have played Mr. Freeze. Also if Robin being around wasn't bad enough Alicia Silverstone arrives as Barbara Alfred's grandaughter or something dumb like that. Funny I thought she was related Commisioner Gordon in the comics ?
Anyway the first one is the best. Some people say it should have been called the Joker since he has more screen time than Batman. I think that's silly as Batman still gets to shine and still has a lot of cool scenes. It's Batman Returns which the villain the Penguin has a lot more to do than Batman himself. Even if the villains have too much screen time in Burton's versions at least he took them seriously. I would have loved to see the series continued with him helming them. I still wonder how cool he could have made a character like the Scare Crow. Burton also had the right idea having Batman alone. Most Batman fans like myself don't even like Robin lol.
I'd rate the first Batman ****. It's a dark but highly entertaining. Michael Keaton may have been too short for the part but still managed to give us the best Batman of all of them. Plus was easier to take him seriously without a whole bunch of corny lines. Jack Nicholson is awesome as the Joker, he has a lot of one liners but wow what do know they worked. He was a bit over the top but he was scary as well as being actually funny as well. I'd give Batman Returns *** for the performances and the direction. I'd give Batman Forever *** for the cast and how it is sorta fun even if it is nothing compard to the first 2. I'd give Batman & Robin * 1/2. George Clooney makes a good Bruce Wayne but as Batman he didn't get much of a chance to prove himself. With better material maybe he could have worked as Batman. Uma Thurman like I said is good as well. Everything else...is just bad. The set design for Gotham City like in Batman Forever is way too colorful. Joel Schmacher shows more with this one than with Forever why he shouldn't have replaced Burton. Anyway only the first 2 are actually worth owning. Only wish they'd release better dvds for them.
on June 29, 2003
1.BATMAN(*****)- First of all, I would like to point out that this movie is kinda like any superhero movie-A hero, A villain and A damsel in distress. So, what makes the movie so good? Well, the plot and acting for one thing; also, director Tim Burton gives it such dark touch that really goes great with the plot, acting and characters. A simple plot really-Batman defeats the Joker and thus, Vickie Vale is rescued! two thumbs wayyyyyyyyyyyy up!
2.BATMAN RETURNS(*****)-Ah, another Tim Burton Batman film with an even darker touch and villains. This time, Batman goes against the sharp-clawed Catwoman and the umbrella-weilding Penguin. That's all I'm gonna say here about this breath taking work of art. Another mission acomplished, Batman!
3.BATMAN FOREVER(****1/2)-Alright, so Burton is NOT the director of this one, Gotham City is now neon-lit and Batman's suit has nipples! The villains are actually pretty good in my opinion though. Now, Batman (along with the newly intorduced Robin) takes the puzzeling Riddler and the simply Psychotic Two-Face.
4.BATMAN AND ROBIN(****)-Hey! this movie isn't really that bad, despite what others might say. Try it, you MIGHT like it... The thing I think is bad about this movie is George Clooney (not exactly what I would expect from Batman). But all the rest are wonderful (Uma Thurman is a hot Poison Ivy and Arnold Schwarzenneger is the ultimate villian! "Let's kick some ice!")
on June 18, 2003
BATMAN: I didn't see this movie till the summer of 2002 and considering it came out in 1989, it still holds up today on all levels. The acting deserves a 10/10. Michael Keaton was a good choice for Bruce Wayne and performs better as Batman. Jack Nicholsen IS THE JOKER. I wish I knew his name, but the dude who plays Alfred the butler absolutely kills in his roll (he would stay for the rest of the series). Bruce's love interest played by Kim Basinger is good. The visual effects are very good for 1989 and in some ways improves on digital effects-9.9/10. The plot is basically this: Batman goes on his first major mission against mob man Jack Napier and his fellow mobsters. Napier tries to pull a heist on the Axis Chemicals factory and ends up thwarted by the bat. This all results in Jack falling in a pit of chemicals. The experience bleaches his skin white and drives him to insanity. He develops a plan to unleash the chemicals that Joker succumbed to on Gotham City, causing people to literally, laugh themselves to death. Will Batman save Gotham?
The plot gets a solid 9.8/10. As for music, it gets a perfect 10/10 and the movie would not be as powerful without it. Danny Elfman delivers his best score ever PERIOD. Batmans theme is very catchy but dark and edgy at the same time. In fact, I'm humming it right now. Buy the soundtrack AND the movie. The movie as a whole, gets an tight 9.9/10.
BATMAN RETURNS: Tim Burton returns to the helm of the Batman series and churns out one of the best of the sequels. The acting is better than the first. Keaton as Batman again is great. Danny Devito as the haunting Penguin is the third best villain in the quadrilogy (all 4 movies, which should have just been this and its prequel) and turns a very evil character into someone you feel somewhat sorry for. He had a bad life and so he became a bad guy. Michele Pheiffer is the second best villain in the series as Catwoman (Joker is first best). There is great chemistry between Keaton and Pheiffer as they struggle with their love/hate relationship. And Christopher Walken is the smaller villain, Max Shreck, and does well.Acting is 10/10. The plot is something like this: Oswald Cobblepot (alias Penguin) is trying to run for mayor of Gotham City so he can destroy it. Why? Because the city has no place in its heart for deformities as this poor guy, and you really fell sorry for him. Then Catwoman enters, trying to establish a relationship with Batman, and teams up with the Penguin. Batman gets framed for murder, and the whole of Gotham turns against him. And several other plot points exist that I won't put because they would spoil your enjoyment of the movie. Plot is 9.9/10. The visual effects are awesome, particularly the swarms of bats that appear at times and the effects from this 1992 movie stand up well today. 10/10. Music is done by Danny Elfman, and is good, but not as good as the first one. Music is 9.5/10. The movie is good for Christmas viewing, if you have the heart to considering the depressing vision of Gotham during the holidays and the Penguin in particular is depressing with his back story. Great movie. 9.8/10