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The Baltimore Sun

Batman

LONGEVITY ‘ Batman: The Movie’ (1966) Though most of the campy conventions – “Biff!” “Pow” and Robin’s “Holy” exclamations – were originated in the TV series, this was originally intended to be the pilot, so they would have started here. No matter what the current trends in pop culture or Bat-interpretations, this Batman lives in his own goofy bubble. ‘Batman’ (1989) Almost 20 years later and Batman movies are still being compared to this milestone. Nicholson set the benchmark for the Joker – you don’t see critics comparing Ledger’s performance to Cesar Romero. ‘Batman Returns’ (1992) Highly anticipated, but deeply disappointing to many, this Burton-directed follow-up was a box office hit anyway. But even though Burton had more creative control on this, it’s often overlooked in his oeuvre. ‘The Dark Knight’ (2008) It hasn’t even come out yet, but with hundreds of sold-out shows before opening day, near universal critical praise and superheroes enjoying a cinematic glory day, this one promises to be one that’ll be around for a long, long time. WINNER: “The Dark Knight” could change everything, but the winner is still Burton’s first “Batman.” People were shaving bat-symbols into their hair when this movie came out. That’s devotion. Warner Bros.
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