Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Batman Vs Batman Begins

OK here's a controversial one...Tim Burton's 1989 Batman is better than Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins. Lets let the dust settle...

Done? Right, here's reasons why....

The Batmobile - so much cooler than the glorified Quad Bike known as The Tumbler (Nolan took a tumble clearly when he commissioned it). Reduces every grown man to status of 8 year old boy every time in appears in all its gadget laden glory

The Wayne parents death scene - so artistically done in Burton's original, with significant psychological repurcussions for Bruce himself, as well as connecting him to Jack Nicholson's Jack Napier; in Nolan's vision it's perfunctory and undercooked (despite, oddly, being one of the central narrative tentpoles)

A production designer named Anton Furst - for all Nolan's sleek updated skyscraper/ scumridden duality in the new Gotham, nothing matches the sheer Gothic power of what Furst achieved for Burton, his designs lending the film a truly idiosyncratic air (this is after all a comicbook world, yeah?)

And the cherry on the cake? Danny Elfman's thrilling score - Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard's anonymous droning (despite a few high points) has nothing on Elfman's terrific central march and other excellent incidental pieces (among them the might of the Sinfonia of London Orchestra during the action scenes and a twisted waltz for The Joker). After all this is a superhero - he needs a theme, be it subtle or otherwise (Chris Nolan clearly mistook subtlety for anonymity)

Of course, Burton's vision has nothing on The Dark Knight...but that's another story

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