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Old 12-31-2012, 08:25 PM   #76
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One other choice the movie should get credit for is not being afraid to show his genitalia like the comics did. It was a risky movie as it opened up a lot of “LOL blue dong” jokes from less mature viewers, but it’s an important aspect of the character, as it displays that as Manhattan becomes more detached from humanity, he shows less concern for human customs. There is no practical reason for him to ever wear clothing, he only does so because it is a custom and formality of human culture, and the moments where he isn’t wearing them display his growing lack of concern for such things. I’m sure you could argue that you could arrange the shots so that his genitalia is always obstructed and we don’t actually see it, but that would severely hamstring the blocking and angles of the scenes and could easily come off as ridiculous, and would remind people of the scene in Austin Powers where the genitalia are always being covered up by ridiculous objects.
Agreed. At about the 25th "blue penis" joke I heard I was like "come on people, ****ing grow up already."
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:31 PM   #77
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V for Vendetta is one of my favorite graphic novels. Good film, too.

Also, nice picture of Dr.Manhattan.
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:22 PM   #78
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I'd have had Cap lower. Evans is fine, but overall Cap is a pretty uninteresting character.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:32 PM   #79
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The Elite Tier

7. Professor X/Charles Xavier (X:Men, 2000, X2, 2003, X-Men: The Last Stand, 2006, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, 2009)



There are very few characters on this list (even the highly ranked ones, even if they’re great in other ways) that made me say “Wow, I’m watching the comic book character come to life on screen.”

Out of those few characters, Professor X is the only one who gave me that feeling without the use of a mask.

(You might be asking “Hey, what about Christopher Reeve?” but I saw those movies as a kid well before I ever picked up a comic book so he didn’t get the chance.)

When it was announced that the X-Men were getting a movie, Patrick Stewart was the number one choice in a lot of fan’s minds for the role (myself included). When it was announced that Stewart had been signed, fans were thrilled, knowing he would carry the proper amount of weight and dignity to the character.

And we were all, of course, proven right. Even though he’s probably second in terms of total screen time to Logan, Professor X is the most important character in the X-Men films overall, and if he wasn’t pulled off so excellently the films wouldn’t have worked anywhere close to as well. This was the first superhero team film, and adapting the concept to film was a bit risky as it could be seen as silly. Having an actor with the weight and presence of Stewart be our main conduit into this world did wonders for establishing the world’s legitimacy.

Stewart does a fantastic job in the films (yes, even the third) and helps bring the proper weight and sophistication to the role while still showing some elements of humor. He’s far from a typical one-dimensional “mentor character guy,” and we see elements of his struggles and human side. This is especially put on display in Dark Cerebro, where we see his mental image of himself still has legs, and he takes a moment to admire that fact.

We also like him and feel his pain as he struggles to try to keep up his morals and his view that mutants and humans can co-exist even in the face of evidence that might suggest Magneto’s view might have more weight and the humans are truly against them. When Stryker uses Xavier’s own compassionate nature against him in X2 (by manipulating him by making him think a little girl is lost and trying to find her friends) we feel sick.

In particular, the relationship between himself and McKellan’s Magneto was handled exceptionally. The idea of a relationship in which the parties are both worst enemies (for ideological reasons) as well as being best friends is an incredibly difficult relationship to pull off. In the comics you have decades to establish the nuances of such a relationship, but the movies are tasked with portraying it in a very small amount of time. The scripts do a good job including dialogue and scenes that showcase it, but those scenes would have fallen flat if the chemistry between Stewart and McKellan wasn’t so great and one of the biggest highlights of the films (and certainly the highlight of the first one). The way they’re able to express their points to each other civilly, you can definitely see the fondness they have for each other, how you can really see how much they enjoy each other’s company but are also pained by the fact that they aren’t able to fully appreciate it because of the ideological differences. Really great stuff, and Stewart deserves a ton of credit for having that get through.

A couple critical notes (from X3 of course), however. The first is that he has very little reaction to Scott’s death. This is pretty bad, but even though I was angered by it, for some reason I can’t quite seem to fault the character and portrayal too much for that one. It seemed almost like the producers threw in a “Oh yeah, and no one cares about Scott” as an F U to Marsden and Singer for leaving, and the character of Xavier happened to be caught in the tornado and nothing could be done about it, and it mostly angered me in terms of the portrayal of Cyclops. The second is that some of his decisions regarding Jean Grey were questionable. I don’t necessarily have too much of a problem with the idea of him suppressing young Jean’s powers – it’s certainly morally questionable, but the fact that the character makes morally questionable decisions isn’t a downside of the portrayal, and might actually add to the character’s depth. The comic version of Xavier certainly has made quite a few morally questionable decisions of his own. My issue is more along the lines of the fact that once Xavier eventually realized that his suppressing her powers has created a destructive second personality in her, he doesn’t really do anything about it and just kind of hopes it doesn’t manifest. You would think that, at least, he would recognize the potential for disaster and keep Jean Grey at the school at all times and not be one of the people involved in all of their missions because of the risk, so my issue isn’t with the fact that he seemingly made a morally questionable decision, but the fact that after he discovered the alternate personality that he made a series of dumb ones. The movie probably would have been served better if Xavier never was able to realize that his suppressing of her powers resulted in this alternate personality and was taken aback by it when it manifested in X3, rather than having known about it the whole time and kind of shrugging it off.

That being said, despite those notes, the character of Xavier is one of the characters who still comes out strong overall in X3. A lot of this is due to the fact that Stewart still completely sells the character, and when he dies, we actually feel bad and have a feeling of loss and that the movie earned it to some degree (unlike we did with Scott’s death).

All in all, the combination of an extremely distinguished actor and two (out of three) great scripts that allow him to shine provide us with one of the best portrayals of a comic book hero onscreen.



Alright, fair warning. A lot of people are going to hate me for this next entry. Not for being too high, but for being too low. I honestly debated putting it into the top five just because my personal opinions seemed to be different than the general public’s and I knew a lot of people wouldn’t agree with me in keeping this character out of the top five, but I realized I wasn’t being true to myself. So just hear me out and let me explain my reasoning.





6. Batman/Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton, Batman, 1989; Batman Returns, 1992)



I have this character in the top tier, the same tier as the number one character, but I have a funny feeling I’m going to have to spend more of my review explaining why I didn’t have him even higher than I am singing this character’s praises.

Several of you are probably angry that this character is below Bale’s portrayal or some of the others in the top five. Now, here is my reasoning. Most of the arguments I’ve seen in the debate “Keaton vs Bale – who portrayed Batman better?” seem to revolve around the job that the actor did with what they were given, which one made for a better Batman and/or Bruce Wayne visually.

But for this list, I’m not just discussing the job the actor did or how they appear visually– it’s also a list that considers “what they were given” to great degree. And unless the actor completely botches it, that’s actually a more important element. And I thought the material Bale was given and the roles his character had in the films were better than the elements Keaton’s Batman had to work with. Keaton himself as an actor knocked the material he was given out of the park, no question, my issues are solely with the role that he was given by the scripts.

The 1989 Batman movie is a great movie, to be sure. But I feel it’s necessary to include a personal note as to why I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as a lot of people older than me did. I was only three years old when it came out, so obviously I didn’t see it in theaters or anything. I didn’t watch it until much later – in fact, I saw Batman Forever in theaters as a kid before I saw either of the Keaton films. So when I first saw the Keaton films sometime in either 1998 or 1999, my eye towards them was a lot more critical than someone who was seeing a representation of Batman on film for the first time. I completely understand why this film and movie could be exhilarating to a Batman fan seeing it in the theater – although I did enjoy Adam West’s version, I can understand the West detractors’ point regarding the fact that a serious Batman should be enjoyed as well and West’s version hindered the potential for seeing it, and why they would be exhilarated seeing this take on a serious and dark Batman character and movie. Also, the cultural impact of the movie can’t be denied.

Still, the fact remains…in the two Batman films Keaton starred in, neither of them really had much of an arc for Batman or much for him to do besides react to the villains.

The first film, by far, focused more on the Joker than Batman. Which wouldn’t necessarily be a problem if Batman himself was given more of a character as well. I certainly don’t have an issue with starting a comic book movie film en media res without giving the character’s origins, but I do think that if you’re skipping the origins the character still should be given some sort of arc or character development. The character’s arc/character development in the first film were basically a romance plot with Kim Basinger and that’s it. He does eventually learn that the Joker was the one who killed his parents, but he doesn’t find this out until the very end. This seemed totally unnecessary. If Bruce knew that the Joker was the one who killed his parents the entire time, a lot could have been done with that to help give Batman an arc of some sort.

Also, I do have to mention the fact that in both Keaton films the character murders people willy-nilly with no regard. I’m not exactly the biggest comic book purist if what’s onscreen works well also (heck, I recently defended the changes the “Watchmen” movie made to the ending) but this still rung hollow for me, as Batman’s decision not to kill people was a critical aspect of the character. If the films gave a believable explanation for him to change his mind that would be one thing, but it just seems to me like he is able to freely kill in these movies because it makes the plot progression and action scenes easier.

The biggest problem is the fact that neither of the two films seemed to focus on Batman as a character, and he doesn’t really get any sense of an arc. The first movie had some thematic elements that meant that Batman is the best character to fit into it, but in Batman Returns, his role could literally have been given to any other superhero and the script wouldn’t have to be changed all that much. How can I rate the character too highly when neither of his films were really about him?

As I said earlier, most of the “Keaton vs Bale” debates are about their acting abilities, and rarely have to do with the role they were given, and most of the Keaton defenders rely on the “acting/visual” side of the equation. However, there is one and only one argument I’ve heard that defends Keaton’s Batman in regards to his role in the films as opposed to the visual portrayal or acting – the argument that in the Keaton films, Batman is “meant” to be mysterious and so the focus is off of him on purpose. I can appreciate this to some degree, but from a film perspective still have several issues with it. I don’t think Batman is particularly mysterious in the first film for a few different reasons. First of all, we spend plenty of time with him as Bruce Wayne, showing us the man behind the mask and his every day interactions as he tries to woo Vicki Vale. Of course, Keaton also does a fantastic acting job as Bruce Wayne, but the character isn’t given all that much to do, and showing so much of him in his civilian persona hurts the “this character is a mystery” motif. We simply don’t understand a lot of his motivations or character – why does he mess around with Vicki Vale and say that he isn’t Bruce Wayne only to reveal to her that he’s Bruce Wayne later? Furthermore, when we deal with Batman as a full fledged superhero, “mystery” doesn’t seem to be much of what drives him. Batman Begins dealt with Batman as an unstoppable creature of the night that terrified villains who for large moments of the film we only saw glimpses of, and in a lot of scenes we barely saw him except when he escaped out of the shadows momentarily to take down villains. In the 1989 Batman, most of the shots of Batman have him completely open in the light and displaying him. If the “this character is a mystery” aspect of the character were played up more, it would probably result in the character taking down people silently in the darkness, but instead, he accomplishes his business in full view of the camera without hiding in shadows or any mystery, such as when he slowly climbs the stairs in the final battle.

That being said, the first Batman movie was still an incredibly entertaining film, and Keaton’s visual portrayal and acting performance completely sell it. The second movie…I wasn’t a big fan of. For the most part, I think, my opinions of superhero films line up with the general public, but Batman Returns is by far the greatest exception, I think. People seem to love this movie, but I really disliked it. A part of this is because I’m not a huge fan of Burton and the morbid worlds he creates, and don’t think they necessarily have a place in a Batman film. I know the atmosphere and surroundings are unusual and interesting and are the biggest sources of praise for the movie, but I think the plot is incredibly uneven, and once again Batman isn’t given enough to do. The film seems to be centered around a morbid original character Burton created that happens to be given the name “The Penguin.” In any case, the chemistry between Batman and Catwoman is pulled off quite well onscreen and is the highlight of the film, but I still feel that Batman isn’t quite given enough to do and you could argue that his role in the film could have been fulfilled by any other costumed hero. (And, if you changed around some elements of the Catwoman relationship, could even have been filled by a cop or something).

In any case, I hope I’ve got enough negatives out of the way for you to at least understand why this character isn’t higher. The fact that I still have him in the top tier and sixth overall is a huge testament to how perfectly Keaton’s acting was with what he was given. He has a tremendous screen presence and makes us feel like we’re watching Batman onscreen. It’s a tremendous shame Keaton was never given a film script able to truly showcase off his acting abilities (like, for example, the script for Batman Begins) and the character was never really given a chance to shine on his own without just reacting to the villains. Still, there is absolutely no denying that with what he was given, Keaton’s portrayal is iconic and tremendous, and the visuals contribute to a great degree to give us one of the most iconic movie performances of all time.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:48 PM   #80
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Batman's Coke commercial should've been the selling point.

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Old 01-02-2013, 03:38 AM   #81
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Dude, you have zero reason to explain yourself about the Keaton Batman man, I personally would have put Stewart/Prof X, Evans/Cap, and Hemsworth/Thor ahead of him and wouldn't even have him in the Top Ten.
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:42 AM   #82
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Still, the fact remains…in the two Batman films Keaton starred in, neither of them really had much of an arc for Batman or much for him to do besides react to the villains.
In the first movie, Bruce Wayne is totally committed. There is no real love story with Vicki Vale. She stalks him, gets into trouble, and he has to rescue her. He has a one-night-stand with Vicki and then tells her he's leaving town. Later, when she confronts him at the batcave, he says, "I'm going to work" and walks away. Michael Keaton in Batman is the complete opposite of Christian Bale in Dark Knight Rises. He has a job to do and he wants no distractions. But then when he does get the job done, which is avenging his parents, he starts to question his choices. That leads into Batman Returns. This is the movie where he does fall in love and sees a future beyond being Batman. Unfortunately, that all tragically ends when Selina Kyle commits suicide. And now... here's the elephant in the room. Is everyone ready for it? Okay..... BATMAN FOREVER. Yes, Batman Forever. That "campfest" everyone hates. That movie finishes the arc. Bruce is more confused than ever and even quits being Batman for some time. But after confronting some unresolved demons he accepts that he's both Bruce Wayne AND Batman. You know, unlike your precious Christian Bale who totally quits and hands off the keys to a stranger. In conclusion, there is an arc. You just didn't see it or chose to ignore the hundreds of discussions we've had about it over the years.

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I do have to mention the fact that in both Keaton films the character murders people willy-nilly with no regard.
Keaton's Batman doesn't actually kill anyone till he discovers The Joker killed his parents. That triggered the inner Martin Riggs in him.

Quote:
it just seems to me like he is able to freely kill in these movies because it makes the plot progression and action scenes easier.
In the Batman Returns documentary, Daniel Waters says Batman kills because it would be stupid if he didn't. And he's right. Look at The Dark Knight. If Batman had run over The Joker with the Batpod he would have saved a lot of headaches and a few lives.

Quote:
Batman is “meant” to be mysterious and so the focus is off of him on purpose.
Tim Burton says that on the documentary for Batman and people take it at face value. Burton is a visual filmmaker and he uses visuals to tell the story. For example, in Batman Returns, there's the scene where Bruce and Selina attend a costume party and they're the only two guests not wearing one. Why? Because being Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle is their costume. Burton is the complete opposite of Chris Nolan. He doesn't explain things. He expects audiences to figure it out. Sadly, they usually don't. People like to be spoonfed.

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First of all, we spend plenty of time with him as Bruce Wayne, showing us the man behind the mask and his every day interactions as he tries to woo Vicki Vale.
Um, not really. After the one-night-stand, Vicki stalks him. It's through her that we learn about Bruce Wayne. With the exception of the flashback, Burton never directly tells you anything about Bruce Wayne. It's all second-hand stuff. Even in the charity event at the start of the movie we hear characters talking about Bruce Wayne before we even see him. Burton is more interested in Batman. And that doesn't mean Batman in costume. That means Batman and his crimefighting progress.

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why does he mess around with Vicki Vale and say that he isn’t Bruce Wayne only to reveal to her that he’s Bruce Wayne later?
Because Alfred forces him. That's the one thing Burton and Nolan have in common. Alfred spents the entire movie telling him NOT to be Batman. He even has one of the best lines in the film: "I don't plan to spend my few remaining years grieving for the loss of old friends..... or their son." Alfred is actually a master manipulator throughout the Burton/Schumacher series.

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For the most part, I think, my opinions of superhero films line up with the general public, but Batman Returns is by far the greatest exception, I think. People seem to love this movie
No they don't. Fanboys hate it. Parents hate it. And everyone else is lukewarm at best. The Batman Returns fandom is small but passionate.
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:49 AM   #83
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In the first movie, Bruce Wayne is totally committed. There is no real love story with Vicki Vale. She stalks him, gets into trouble, and he has to rescue her. He has a one-night-stand with Vicki and then tells her he's leaving town. Later, when she confronts him at the batcave, he says, "I'm going to work" and walks away. Michael Keaton in Batman is the complete opposite of Christian Bale in Dark Knight Rises. He has a job to do and he wants no distractions. But then when he does get the job done, which is avenging his parents, he starts to question his choices. That leads into Batman Returns. This is the movie where he does fall in love and sees a future beyond being Batman. Unfortunately, that all tragically ends when Selina Kyle commits suicide. And now... here's the elephant in the room. Is everyone ready for it? Okay..... BATMAN FOREVER. Yes, Batman Forever. That "campfest" everyone hates. That movie finishes the arc. Bruce is more confused than ever and even quits being Batman for some time. But after confronting some unresolved demons he accepts that he's both Bruce Wayne AND Batman. You know, unlike your precious Christian Bale who totally quits and hands off the keys to a stranger. In conclusion, there is an arc. You just didn't see it or chose to ignore the hundreds of discussions we've had about it over the years.



Keaton's Batman doesn't actually kill anyone till he discovers The Joker killed his parents. That triggered the inner Martin Riggs in him.



In the Batman Returns documentary, Daniel Waters says Batman kills because it would be stupid if he didn't. And he's right. Look at The Dark Knight. If Batman had run over The Joker with the Batpod he would have saved a lot of headaches and a few lives.



Tim Burton says that on the documentary for Batman and people take it at face value. Burton is a visual filmmaker and he uses visuals to tell the story. For example, in Batman Returns, there's the scene where Bruce and Selina attend a costume party and they're the only two guests not wearing one. Why? Because being Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle is their costume. Burton is the complete opposite of Chris Nolan. He doesn't explain things. He expects audiences to figure it out. Sadly, they usually don't. People like to be spoonfed.



Um, not really. After the one-night-stand, Vicki stalks him. It's through her that we learn about Bruce Wayne. With the exception of the flashback, Burton never directly tells you anything about Bruce Wayne. It's all second-hand stuff. Even in the charity event at the start of the movie we hear characters talking about Bruce Wayne before we even see him. Burton is more interested in Batman. And that doesn't mean Batman in costume. That means Batman and his crimefighting progress.



Because Alfred forces him. That's the one thing Burton and Nolan have in common. Alfred spents the entire movie telling him NOT to be Batman. He even has one of the best lines in the film: "I don't plan to spend my few remaining years grieving for the loss of old friends..... or their son." Alfred is actually a master manipulator throughout the Burton/Schumacher series.



No they don't. Fanboys hate it. Parents hate it. And everyone else is lukewarm at best. The Batman Returns fandom is small but passionate.
This is what happens when you get Neverending started about Batman movies from the 90s.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:29 AM   #84
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In the first movie, Bruce Wayne is totally committed. There is no real love story with Vicki Vale. She stalks him, gets into trouble, and he has to rescue her. He has a one-night-stand with Vicki and then tells her he's leaving town. Later, when she confronts him at the batcave, he says, "I'm going to work" and walks away. Michael Keaton in Batman is the complete opposite of Christian Bale in Dark Knight Rises. He has a job to do and he wants no distractions. But then when he does get the job done, which is avenging his parents, he starts to question his choices. That leads into Batman Returns. This is the movie where he does fall in love and sees a future beyond being Batman. Unfortunately, that all tragically ends when Selina Kyle commits suicide. And now... here's the elephant in the room. Is everyone ready for it? Okay..... BATMAN FOREVER. Yes, Batman Forever. That "campfest" everyone hates. That movie finishes the arc. Bruce is more confused than ever and even quits being Batman for some time. But after confronting some unresolved demons he accepts that he's both Bruce Wayne AND Batman. You know, unlike your precious Christian Bale who totally quits and hands off the keys to a stranger. In conclusion, there is an arc. You just didn't see it or chose to ignore the hundreds of discussions we've had about it over the years.
I don't have time to respond to the rest of your insane rantings, but I will say that "Batman Forever" is not factored into this ranking because he was played by a different actor. If you go back and look at the Val Kilmer Batman entry I actually gave that one credit for giving Batman a story even if the rest of the movie was crap.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:04 AM   #85
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"Batman Forever" is not factored into this ranking because he was played by a different actor.
Fair enough. But Michael Keaton's Batman goes from standing on a rooftop, triumphantly staring at the bat signal, to chasing shadows on a winter night. So there is an arc. Paul Dini, writer of Batman: TAS, said it best. This is a guy whose destined to be alone. Keaton is the most tragic of all the Batman's.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:31 AM   #86
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Fair enough. But Michael Keaton's Batman goes from standing on a rooftop, triumphantly staring at the bat signal, to chasing shadows on a winter night. So there is an arc. Paul Dini, writer of Batman: TAS, said it best. This is a guy whose destined to be alone. Keaton is the most tragic of all the Batman's.
I didn't say he had "zero" character arc, I said he had "not much of an arc." What you described is something of an arc, but "not much of an arc." It's pretty much bare minimum and should have been given more screen time and development instead of further developing the villains.
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:53 PM   #87
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What you described is something of an arc, but "not much of an arc."
I disagree. Bruce Wayne is a loner in the first movie. The people of Gotham barely see him and know almost nothing about him. Even the villains aren't familiar with him. When Bob the Goon tells Joker about Vicki Vale he says, "she's dating some guy named Wayne." And I already explained his relationship with Vicki Vale which was largely just sex. She even tells him, "I can't believe I slept with you." He made her feel like a whore. Alfred is the one who spents the entire film telling Bruce to give up crimefighting and give Vicki a chance. At the end, he does none of that and just focuses on being Batman.

In the second movie, the first scene with Bruce Wayne is him sitting in a dark room waiting for the batsignal. He has no life outside of Batman. The fact that he's just sitting there, waiting, says a lot about his mental state. In the first installment, he prowls the streets. Here, he's just waiting to be called. Then when The Penguin shows up and reveals that he was abandoned by his rich parents that intriques him. Here's a guy whose the opposite of him. Oswald lost his parents. Bruce has his taken away. He understands this guy and recognizes they're opposite sides of the same track. That's why, instead of waiting around for a batsignal, he spies on The Penguin. He watches over a guy who could have easily been him. Later, when he meets Catwoman, he's looking at another lost soul. Catwoman is a victim and she's out for revenge. Bruce Wayne is also a victim and he too seeked revenge. You say the movie focuses too much on the villain. But that's because they're a reflection of Bruce Wayne.

He realizes this and wants to better himself. As soon as he lays eyes on Selina Kyle he's smitten with her. No different than Christian Bale immediately falling for Anne Hathaway when he catches her stealing from him. In Batman Returns, we see a more socially active Bruce Wayne. After scenes of him waiting around and learning about The Penguin, we see him attending business meetings, parties, and casually walking through the streets. He even has a real date with Selina. This is his attempt to restore his life as Bruce Wayne. And Selina is a gateway for him to do so, but she is too damaged and leaves him. And so he ends the film chasing shadows. He wants to escape Batman and is after the one who can help him to do so. That all leads into Batman Forever where his girlfriend's name is Chase and she happens to be a shrink.
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:22 PM   #88
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Clearly Neverending has watched the Keaton films more than anybody else on the planet.

Looking forward to how it finishes man. Great job so far.
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:48 PM   #89
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So, what can we take away from all this? Don't **** with Neverending when it comes to the Burton Batman films.
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:05 PM   #90
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As I said, his "arcs" in both films completely more or less revolve around the love interest, you just happen to think that the love interest plots are better and more nuanced than I do because you've over analyzed them to death. Even if the points you're saying are true and intentional by the filmmakers (and really, I think you've thought more in-depth about his relationships than the screenwriters did) it doesn't make the storyline particularly compelling. It's basically "Will he get together with the love interest or will being Batman get in the way?"

And you seem to think that Batman Forever was the payoff to all of this, so if Keaton's storylines were just set up for an eventual payoff that Keaton never saw, I can't give the character TOO much credit for his storylines, can I?

Also, a note regarding Batman Forever...

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And now... here's the elephant in the room. Is everyone ready for it? Okay..... BATMAN FOREVER. Yes, Batman Forever. That "campfest" everyone hates...Bruce is more confused than ever and even quits being Batman for some time. But after confronting some unresolved demons he accepts that he's both Bruce Wayne AND Batman.
Why are you acting like this is some sort of revolutionary idea you came up with? It's obvious when you watch the film. In my Kilmer analysis I pretty much said the exact same thing.

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Interestingly enough, despite the inclusion of Robin, it’s actually the third storyline I mentioned that drives Batman’s character development in this film. Partially inspired by the fact that he sees Dick as being in the same position he was, Batman contemplates his reason for being a superhero. He wonders about why he’s really doing this, and if it’s just out of some sort of sense of achieving revenge on crime in general because of his parent’s death, or if he’s doing it more altruistically because he has the ability to save people and fight crime and uses them for the common good.

In the end, he comes to realization that he’s mostly come to peace with his parent’s death and he’s doing it mostly because of the latter. This results in him saying “I’m both Bruce Wayne, and Batman. Not because I have to be, but because I choose to be.”

I appreciate that they did that, I really do..... I appreciate the fact that in theory they actually tried to give Batman some character development and a storyline....
...(Kidman) being a therapist is a lot of what causes him to open up about his feelings to some degree so I’ll give the relationship credit for that
And because of it I put him in the overall positive tier despite the rest of the movie being terrible and Kilmer's acting not being that great. But Keaton and Kilmer's portrayals are counted separately, Keaton gets no credit for it.


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So, what can we take away from all this? Don't **** with Neverending when it comes to the Burton Batman films.
Umm, he defended the idea that Batman should go around killing people because he thinks Batman's no-killing code is "stupid," I'm not inclined to take his opinions on any version of Batman too seriously.
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:12 PM   #91
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And so he ends the film chasing shadows. He wants to escape Batman and is after the one who can help him to do so. That all leads into Batman Forever where his girlfriend's name is Chase and she happens to be a shrink.
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:32 PM   #92
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Umm, he defended the idea that Batman should go around killing people because he thinks Batman's no-killing code is "stupid," I'm not inclined to take his opinions on any version of Batman too seriously.
That was meant to be mostly sarcastic.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:43 PM   #93
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On an unrelated note, now that we're in the top five, I'd like to see what other people's top fives are (or more than that if you want). Either post your own opinions, and/or use the five characters I have left and try to guess where I have them ranked.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:54 PM   #94
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Well the five you have left are Bale's Batman, Tony Stark, Reeve's Superman, Wolverine, and... Rorschach? If not the last one then I must be forgetting a heavy hitter. Going on those five though, I'd say:

5. Rorschach
4. Stark
3. Wolverine
2. Bale's Batman
1. Reeve's Superman
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:07 PM   #95
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his "arcs" in both films completely more or less revolve around the love interest
And so did Christian Bale. Rachel was the center of it all in the entire trilogy. When Rachel found out that Bruce was planning on shooting Joe Chill, she slapped him in the face and dropped him off in crime alley. And afterwards he goes off to become Batman. In Dark Knight, he plans on quitting and settling down with Rachel. Then she gets killed. Sound familiar? In Dark Knight Rises, he quits and becomes a hermit because Rachel has been dead. Then, Alfred reveals that Rachel never planned on being with him anyway so he moved on to someone who understood him better. So, in other words, Chris Nolan does the same exact thing. So... what exactly is your criticism here?

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you've over analyzed them to death.
No, I didn't over-analyze them. You've simply under-analyzed them. You're not a Tim Burton fan. You have admitted this. So, I can't expect you to understand his work.

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"Will he get together with the love interest or will being Batman get in the way?"
Again, how is that different from Chris Nolan? Or heck, even Superman? The plotline of a hero quitting for a girl, or simply wanting a normal life, goes back to Superman II. Spider-Man 2 used it as well when Peter's powers stopped working because he wanted to be with MJ. Even X-Men: Last Stand used this concept when Rogue gave up her powers to be with Bobby. It's cliche' genre stuff. But what matters is how it is executed. All these movies, and many others, have used this plotline but they all did it differently.

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And you seem to think that Batman Forever was the payoff to all of this, so if Keaton's storylines were just set up for an eventual payoff that Keaton never saw, I can't give the character TOO much credit for his storylines, can I?
It's the same character though. You can give Michael Keaton credit for delivering a better performance, but ultimately, Keaton and Val Kilmer, as well as George Clooney, are playing the same Batman. I mean... I love Michael Fassbender as Magneto but I can't ignore his character is the same one that is portrayed by Ian McKellan in the previous films. This is the one sketchy area of your list. How can you separate actors playing the same role while also ignoring the character's history? Edward Norton and Mark Ruffalo play the same Hulk. Christopher Reeve and Brandon Routh play the same Superman. James McAvoy and Patrick Stewart play the same Professor X. You can critique the individual performances, and even the movies they appear in, but it's the same character.

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Umm, he defended the idea that Batman should go around killing people because he thinks Batman's no-killing code is "stupid," I'm not inclined to take his opinions on any version of Batman too seriously.
When Bob Kane and Bill Finger created Batman in 1939, he killed. The reason he stopped killing is because they're gonna run out of villians if Batman is killing every month. Plus, some villains are just too popular. The Joker died in his debut issue and they had to bring him back. Batman was always intended to be a killer and it makes sense. ALSO, it's kind of silly when villain are accidently killed or indirectly killed by another character. It's a cop-out. Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy suffered from this. And even Chris Nolan's Dark Knight Rises looked ridiculous when Catwoman had to kill Bane.
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:18 PM   #96
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I had to momentarily put Neverending on my ignore list and I can't see that post above me because I knew I would be tempted to respond to each point and we would go back and forth forever. Sorry, just don't have time to deal with this right now.

We could go back and forth forever, but its totally pointless since its two different opinions. I respect the fact that you have a different opinion (and I encourage people to share their disagreements with me), but you need to understand that people are allowed to have different opinions from you and it doesn't make them "wrong," and isn't because they "don't understand" the material as much as you do or that they "missed something." I didn't like Keaton's Batman as much as you did for reasons I think I made perfectly clear (and hell, I still had him at sixth overall and in the top tier), that's really all it boils down to. It doesn't make me or the others who share my opinion "wrong," and you having a different opinion doesn't make you wrong either.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:07 PM   #97
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I had to momentarily put Neverending on my ignore list
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:12 PM   #98
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I'd have put Keaton at number one (that should come as no surprise for those who know me), but really solid list, bbf2.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:52 PM   #99
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I'd have put Keaton at number one
I think Christopher Reeve as Superman and Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man gave better performances, but Michael Keaton has the advantage of being in better movies and having deeper material to work with. So, whether or not, Keaton is my #1 depends on the criteria.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:26 PM   #100
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My personal top five would probably be:

1. Batman (Kevin Conroy), Mask of the Phantasm
2. Rorscach (Jackie Earle Haley), Watchmen
3. Batman (Michael Keaton), Batman/Batman Returns
4. Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), X-Men Saga
5. Batman (Christian Bale), The Dark Knight Trilogy

Bale would have been higher had it not been for the writing for the character in TDKR.
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