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Batman (1989)
flying, 29 June 2006

God there was so much hypes around this film it went on forever. The amount of advertising must have been more than Jack Nicholson's record fee. This like the rest of th franchise has a bigger star in its villain role and the actors name appears before Batman in the opening sequence. The Gothic design of the city is its strongest suite. The actual story and the Joker are surprising light for someone like Tim Burton. I don't care about other people's gushing praise this could and should have been darker and it is let down either by Burton or the production studio fearing they would alienate audiences if they explored the dark heart of the comic creations. Marvel and Batman appeared in the 1940s at the time when psychoanalysis was at its most influential. However wrong Freud and his cohorts may have been about many things they did stimulate Marvel to produce a biography to their characters to explain why they were so screwed up and make them more sympathetic. Also Satre and existentialism had reach America and again explaining why Joker was the way he had become shows the importance of moral relativism and how people make ethical choices when confronted by violent and oppressive situations. Now that should have been in the film instead of just relying on brooding and Keaton's stare. The film is held back by the chemistry not being very strong between Keaton and thee heroine. But when has that existed in a Keaton film. But its still the best of a declining franchise

5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
hammer lite, 29 June 2006

This is one of those independent productions that kept appearing in the UK in the 60s and early 70s. Think Tigon and Tyburn film producers. Like many of them they made only one or two films and then disappeared again. Hammer's success with the Dracula franchise inspired this one. Its an interesting film that instead of the Gothic heavy appearance of Dracula this film transplants itself to contemporary France and England. Its starts promisingly with a gypsy wedding being interrupted by a rude bat. This is a metamorphosed form of a buried count who was interned alive for practicing the dark arts. He has arrived without an invitation to claim the intended bride as his own. This is rather heartless of him since he is taking the would be wife of one of his loyal servants. Having made her immortal he proceeds to gather a coven of worshipers as though being invincible wasn't enough for his ego, he need people to worship him too. Hubert Noël was successful at playing minor roles in film for which he seemed very suited. Here is thrown as the villain in the lead role. He may have th appearance of suave French vampire but he lacks the presence of a Dracula and his accent is an unintended joy. In addition there is Tracy Reed as the usual hapless victim and once again a minor actress is thrown into something too deep resulting in her never taking another lead role.

The film ends predictably with the hero doing most of the right things. But this is a pale imitation of a Roger Corman film. I found this feature only the more interesting having read descriptions of it and seen a painting with references to the film. On a couple of film and vampire sites the then writer and psychic Stephen Armourae described the film and gave particular attention to Tracy Reed of whom he was clearly somewhat enamored including her in a column on Erotica. Later I saw an intriguing painting by him entitled 'Catherine'. Having then seen the film and the painting that appears in that as the vampire is also an artist I could see the connection and it wake me up from falling asleep. The difference being that Armourae has played & from what has appeared in print and net perhaps more a vampire better than Noel. If your in front of a TV and this comes on a satellite channel try and stay awake for Tracy Reed and a pretty hot painting of her. The rest- see a Hammer movie