Friday, July 2, 2010

The 100 Best Movies: #91

91. Batman Returns (1992)

This choice has a couple qualifiers and notes with it. First of all, it is one of the few sequels on this list. And second, this is not the first time you will see a film on this list that features the Caped Crusader. That will be a rarity on this list. Batman is a franchise in which I can look at each film (or what have you) on its own merit. This means the sequels don't feel like sequels because we, as audience members, so identify with Bob Kane's hero that his backstory doesn't always need complete explanation (which might happen more often than necessary in other franchises). This is one of the Batman films that can stand on its own and is completely true to the comic book characters in it.

This film, like its 1989 predecessor, is directed by Tim Burton and features Michael Keaton in the titular role. Keaton was one of my favorite Batmans because he approached the hero with a quiet intensity and his alter-ego Bruce Wayne with a nonchalance that only Keaton is good at. Burton, who is always a master with visuals, had reinvented Gotham City in the 1989 film and here he goes deeper into the core of that world. This time there are more villains which include the Penguin (played perfectly by Danny Devito) and shrewd businessman Max Schreck (the always chilling Christopher Walken). But this movie belongs to the lady in leather. Michelle Pfeiffer won praise and the hearts of many a fanboy (including myself!) with just a simple "Meow!" Her performance is so sensual and powerful that you cannot help but be in awe of her. It is a great film for fans of Batman, comic book fans and just plain everyone!

Next Post: #90

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