Parker vs. Batman

On the new episode (JFD44) I enraged everyone by shitting on Tim Burton's "Batman." Like everyone, I loved this movie as a little kid, but I grew up, read some comics and Christopher Nolan did me the personal favor of making "Batman Begins." All of that resulted in me realizing that Burton's film is a horrible piece of crap that uses Bob Kane's original comic to whipe its ass.

I found this video on youtube that touches on about 11 points that piss me off about the film.

If you're too lazy to watch, that's fine. That reviewer in the video is kind of annoying. But, a few of the points he brings up are ones that I've been trying to tell people for years before yelling the phrase "Please believe me" in their faces.

A huge reason for my dislike of this film is because Batman has absolutely no problem with killing as many bad guys as possible. At one point he even drives into the Joker's base (or something) and drops bombs in it like he's a masked Harry Truman. This may be fine for someone like Cobra or Machete, but anyone who has read a single page of a Batman comic knows that it kinda shits all over Batman's whole "If I kill criminals, I'm no better than them" mentality.

I mentioned on the show that by making the silly decision in "Batman" to have had Joker kill Batman's parents, you kinda eliminate the drive of Bruce Wayne's insane fascist crusade when Joker is eventually stopped (Read: murdered) by Batman. Even "Batman Begins" acknowledges this. There, a pre-Batman Bruce Wayne plans to shoot the guy who killed his family (NOT the Joker), but the mob beats him to it, which sets in motion the events that lead him to become the Caped Crusader. If Wayne would have shot the guy and got his revenge he would have just been arrested and gone to jail for half the time he would have if he sold weed to someone and then gone back to being a rich jaded kid.

Burton's Batman would have no reason to continue crime-fighting knowing his parents' killer was gone (read: MURDERED). Sure, like Mark said on the show, there'd be other crimes. But Batman is out there because he sees the face of his parents' killer on the face of each and every thug he breaks the legs of. Would he have the same drive knowing that he already dealt out the proper punishment to the guilty parties? Furthermore, Burton's movie becomes a story about simple revenge instead of justice and the merits of law vs. chaos.

In addition to these heavy themes, there are also retarded details that just piss me off about Burton's film. The following is taken from something I wrote a few years back about my dislike of Tim Burton:

Why the fuck is Robert Wuhl in this movie? Who knows! What the fuck decade is this movie set in? Who knows! Why the fuck would Burton create a Bruce Wayne that sleeps upside down? Who the fuck knows!

This movie takes a huge shit on everything Batman is. Which is reasonable, because it was written by a man who's best known for his work on "Monkeybone." I mean, the movie builds up to the fact that the criminal genius known as The Joker's whole plan to take over Gotham is based around the idea that he needs to fist fight Batman in a clock tower.

And why would Bruce Wayne tell JOURNALIST Vickie Vale that he's Batman shortly after meeting her? What a shitty Bruce Wayne.

I'm sure there are many more reasons to hate Burton's "Batman." Like the fact that the comics are built around Batman and Commissioner Gordon's need to forge a symbiotic relationship for the betterment of Gotham, yet he's barely in the film or the fact that Vicki Vale is just simply gone by the start of "Batman Returns," making Bruce Wayne into James Bond.

ANYWAY- I understand that nostalgia is a big reason people like this flick, and that's fine. And it's fine if you like the performances and Burton's atmosphere. And that's cool if you like the BatDance. But let's be straight, it wasn't that good when it came out, but we were 8, so it seemed awesome. It does not stand up now and it's not a good BATMAN story at all.

And don't even get me started on those sequels.


  1. Parker,

    We’re obviously never going to see eye-to-eye on this, for several reasons. First and foremost, I’ll fully admit that I am not a “real” Batman fan. I’ve probably only read a handful of Batman comics. My love of Batman mostly stems from watching the campy-as-hell 1960’s television series and the two Tim Burton Batman movies. I’ve never read the Frank Miller “Dark Knight” stuff, I’ve never really watched “Batman: The Animated Series” and I’ve never taken the time to familiarize myself with the entire Batman mythology. So, unlike you, I don’t have a million points of reference from the comic book series that the films are not hitting exactly on the head to enrage me.

    But one thing I do know; the Tim Burton Batman films are entertaining. They were entertaining when I was 8 and they are entertaining now. The performances are great, the costumes are fantastic, Danny Elfman’s score is brilliant, the set design and atmospheres are amazing and unique and most importantly, they are a ton of fun. And that's not just nostalgia talking. I watch "Batman" and "Batman Returns" at least once a year and they still hold up. To me they're similar to films like "Back to the Future", "Ghostbusters", etc, that have nostalgia value but also stand alone as solid, entertaining films.

    Conversely, while I think the Christopher Nolan Batman films have been expertly directed and well-made, they are not nearly as fun as or exciting to me as the Tim Burton films were, especially “Batman Begins” which I thought was terribly boring. While they may be darker, more realistic and closer to the comic book, in my opinion, they’re too damn serious for their own good. In fact, one of the tag lines for “The Dark Knight” was “Why so serious?”, and to me, that couldn’t be more apt. I mean, we’re talking about a guy who dresses up like a bat and fights goofy villains, right? While I respects these films, I'm not as inclined to return to them for repeat viewings as I am the Burton movies.

    That being said, I think we can all agree that the two Joel Schumacher Batman movies are absolutely abhorrent. Especially “Batman & Robin”. I’ve stated on numerous occasions that that movie is one of the worst things ever committed to film.

  2. Yeah, I'm sure 80% of my hatred for these movies is me being a big stubborn, anal comic nerd. If I hadn't read Batman comics by Frank Miller or Alan Moore or Jeph Loeb, I'd probably love these Burton movies still. I don't mean that as condescending as that sounds, by the way.

    The other 20% of my hatred comes from my opinion that putting rocket launchers on penguins as a means to take over a city is kinda dumb.

    But, yeah. Batman & Robin is definitely in my Top 10 worst movies ever made list. It would make the Top 3, but I've seen a whole lot of M. Night Shyamalan movies.

  3. used to love some of the comics (TDKR is brilliant) and I really like Batman The Animated Series and Batman Beyond, but I haven't really cared for any of the movies. Same goes for Superman... it's odd because I'm a pretty big comics nerd.

  4. ummm...Monkeybone is awesome!! Seriously, you guys should do it on the show, it deserves a second look and a better rep. And "Batman: The Animated Series" is where it's at for me, outside of the comics form, without getting into a long analysis.


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