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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just relax-I'll take care of the wretched pinhead puppets of Gotham!
Nobody does Gothic better than Tim Burton, and his return to the Batman franchise is superior in almost every way to his first effort as well as being a hair's breadth behind the newest entry.

What makes the Batman films stand out (discounting Forever and Robin) is their dark nature which is as much about the inner conflict of both hero and villain. Keaton's...
Published on 3 Dec 2006 by Mr. S. E. C. Norman

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Batman Returns: Not as good as the original
For some reason, this sequel to the original and impressive Tim Burton Batman film failed to hit the mark for me. I don't know why. Filled with Burton's typically twisted Gothic vision, with great actors in the form of Christopher Walken and Danny DeVito as the villains and a very sexy Michelle Pfeiffer in the leather catsuit it should have been a treat. But for some...
Published on 14 Feb 2012 by Victor


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just relax-I'll take care of the wretched pinhead puppets of Gotham!, 3 Dec 2006
By 
Mr. S. E. C. Norman "pink52" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Nobody does Gothic better than Tim Burton, and his return to the Batman franchise is superior in almost every way to his first effort as well as being a hair's breadth behind the newest entry.

What makes the Batman films stand out (discounting Forever and Robin) is their dark nature which is as much about the inner conflict of both hero and villain. Keaton's Batman is different to Bale's; like him he is split, troubled and somewhat empty inside-the old wounds of his parents' death have not healed, and he finds it almost impossible to reconcile the two sides of his life. Unlike Bale's spoilt, tempremental, tantrum-figure, however, Keaton brings a more mature, calmer character, albeit with a deal of wit. The effect is to gain our sympathy and empathy for his dilemma in a tribute to Keaton's talent. Likewise, DeVito is quite excellent as the sadistic, destructive but again remarkably witty Penguin, and is suitably frightening and disgusting to boot. He's not quite as good as Jack Nicholson's Joker, but it's a very impressive effort. Perhaps the real gem is the brilliantly electric Pfeiffer, who totally brings Catwoman's duality to life and again gains our empathy. In particular at moments in Bruce Wayne and Selina's (her true name) interplay where Keaton flags, Pfeiffer shows a depth of ability that sustains her for the entire film and is vastly superior to Kim Basinger's lacklustre performance in Batman. Walken provides a further nemesis for Wayne that is understandably priceless.

One must not forget the many other elements that make this film; Burton's superb direction features a whole array of wonderfully dark shots of the city lit by twinkling lights which keeps the sinister atmosphere intact. The moody tone is of course interspersed with some great fight scenes that show a significant improvement of special effects from the original as well as giving the characters a good deal of more gadgets and weapons.

It's not really close to the comics, but the script is cutting-edge, the acting almost perfect and the result is an exciting, often moving, film with the sentimentality of other superhero efforts kept down and an ending that is most satisfying.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really good cathartic fun, with a hitch, 27 Oct 2005
By 
Batman Returns was, before Batman Begins came out, my favourite of the movies. This remastered release is fantastic with a new transfer and DTS sound.
The extras are good and thorough, with an hour of behind the scenes material, and a half hour retrospective, plus trailers and music videos etc.
The only hitch is the lack of a director's commentary, as was promised on the box. A shame - apparently it had something to do with them cutting a shot for the R2 release and the Burton commentary then being out of sync. Either that or they forgot.
If you're really desperate for a commentary then hold back, but if, like me, you're a fan of the film regardless, there's plenty of extra stuff to justify the purchase.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tim Burton's Darkly Poetic Superhero Sequel Soars in This Special Edition, 6 Aug 2007
By 
D. Laurikietis "darkknight_uk" (North West England) - See all my reviews
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Batman Returns remains something of a curiosity. It's dark and operatic mise-en-scene alienated viewers expecting a Happy Meal friendly genre film while those expecting a paint by numbers superhero story were left befuddled by the films visual complexity, moral ambiguity and tenuous narrative.
Make no mistake, Batman Returns is no generic action flick nor cut and dried comic book adap. It is far richer than that! Batman Returns is an expressionistic, poetic, operatic tale of twisted caricatures, fractured psyches and a search for what's right in a world defined by corruption.
Michael Keaton's introspective Dark Knight is as psychologically dense as ever while still finding time to kick all the right asses in some terrific action scenes. Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman is an incredibly sexy guerilla post-feminist richly illustrated by Bob Ringwood's costumes and Danny Elfman's haunting score fleshing out an already wonderful performance. Danny DeVito's penguin is a masterfully performed freak who manages to instill in us simultaneous loathing, humour and pathos, and Christopher Walken's tyrannical industrialist Max Schreck is one of the most memorable original creations in any comic book film.

The transfer on this DVD is remarkable. Burton's world of blacks and dark blues juxtaposed with the winter snow over Gotham has never looked more visually sumptuous. The 5.1 and DTS tracks get a reasonably good airing throughout the course of the film though their primary achievement is accentuating Elfman's wonderful score.
Tim Burton's commentary is, again, passable. The director clearly feels uncomfortable dissecting his own work, prefering to let it speak for itself though his most interesting musings concern what HE would have done with Batman Forever.
Once again the Special Features really shine on this 2 disc set and credit should be given where due to Warner Bros for compiling some bonus material worthy of such a dynamic film. The Legends of The Dark Knight documentary is continued here and again documents the inception, development and production of the film with a frank and candid approach to how the film suffered by refusing to conform to the expectations of the genre. The dichotomy between the director's dark sensibilities and the studio's Fast Food tie in commitments are aptly referenced here.
The Beyond Batman documentaries tirelessly cover every aspect of the film's production with the visual effects and production design providing the most interesting fare for exploration.
Once again the Heroes and Villains section shows us perspectives of the characters in the comics and subsequently on film from everyone from Kim Newman to Paul Dini to Mike Mignola.
Also on offer is the vintage featurette The Bat, The Cat and The Penguin, a publicity short to promote the release the launch of the film. While thsi provides nothing we haven't seen in greater depth in other material on the disc it is nonetheless a nice, kitsch feature that's worth having.

Overall, if you liked the film initially then this film is for you. If you didn't like it, perhaps when you understand where the film makers were coming from and hear the arguments for why it was made as it was made you may just change your mind!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Batman at his finest!, 14 Dec 2012
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Forget Chris Nolan and his interpretation of a "real world" Batman. The origins of this character lie within the pages of comic books and as such that's exactly what the masterful Tim Burton has delivered.

In my opinion Tim Burtons two films are marvelous, and are without doubt the definitive Batman movies.

A required addition to the collection any movie fan, and an absolute "must have" for fans of Batman.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved Catwoman!, 18 Aug 2006
I didn't like a lot the first Batman by Burton and I have to admit that I didn't like at all Val Kilmer and Clooney films, but I loved this one. Batman Begins is ok also but this one is great. Batman is brilliant and Catwoman is a character which is ambiguous and interesting. Burton creates a nice nightmare before Xmas Batman movie with all the snow and the amazing sceneries.

Batman and Catwoman's scenes are the best part of the movie, specially the ball scene when they dance under the mistletoe. I think she was great in this film, playing her a neurotic hard-working girl who is treated like mud till she gets her chance to show how strong she can be. She was a bit crazy but at least she showed that girls can defend themselves and that we do not need a batman to rescue us all the time.

I love the end, I do not want to spoil it but I have to admit that it is a fantastic ending, not the usual cheesy nonsense.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A horror film, 21 May 2012
By 
Jack Heslop - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Batman Returns [DVD] [1992] (DVD)
I think of Batman Returns as a horror rather than a traditional superhero film. Its villain, a deformed, sewer-dwelling child killer, is straight out of a Stephen King novel (It, to be precise) and the themes are hauntingly macabre. This is a disturbed, intimate story about stolen childhoods, revenge and loneliness. Danny DeVito's Penguin is a pathetic freak, doomed from the moment he leaves his mother's womb as the film opens. A doctor rushes from the birthing room with a handkerchief over his face, the new father enters, and all we see or hear is his terrified scream through a door. When the baby, locked in a cradle-cum-cage (how did his parents come by such an object?), drags a cat through its window bars, Mr. and Mrs. Cobblepot decide they can't bear the shame, so dump him in a sewer.
From such beginnings, how else could this poor creature have developed? The Penguin is sad and pitiful. He raves like a rabid dog who should be put down for its own and everyone else's sake, and when sleazy businessman Max Shreck (Christopher Walken) moulds him into a mayoral candidate, we start waiting for bedlam to begin.
Of course this Penguin, who has flippers for hands, bears no resemblance to the suave, sophisticated gangster he was in the comics, but I didn't care. This new Penguin was interesting enough that I didn't pine for the original. He's a tragic figure, a circus freak deprived of love, and thus determined to deprive others. His interactions with Batman (Michael Keaton) expose thought-provoking truths about both characters.
Michael Keaton is my favourite Batman. He's sexier and more mysterious than Christian Bale (who I think does a great job himself). There's a wonderfully erotic scene where Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer) runs a hand down Batman's armour, implicitly ending at his crotch, which judging by the look on his face she must be good at pawing.
Speaking of Catwoman, her portrayal here is also my favourite so far (not that Pfeiffer's had much competition; we'll see how Anne Hathaway does). I liked her development from mousy secretary to twisted avenger. The film doesn't cop out with her character, but makes her truly morally ambiguous.
Shreck's character was considered unnecessary by Siskel and Ebert, but to me Christopher Walken's always great value and more scripts should shoehorn him in. He's delightfully odious as the conniving businessman, and I was fascinated by Shreck's willingness to sacrifice himself to save his son.
Batman Returns is a refreshingly adult Gothic horror film which mixes exciting action with a plot worthy of Mary Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe or Stephen King.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 4 Mar 2008
By 
In short-Refreshing excellently acted, beautifully shot, superb design, dark, violent. This is a superb take on the batman, where Burton again uses his own vision of what he believes batman to be. I am a batman fan of twenty years and this was excellent, in anybody elses hands I think there changed vision of catwoman and the penguin and Gotham would annoy me. But Burton does it with skill. Batman isn't for kids. Superb. And thats coming from a real batman geek!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A SUPERHERO BURLESQUE, 30 Nov 2013
This review is from: Batman Returns [DVD] [1992] (DVD)
In 1992 some silly, so-called Christian organization threw a bullying hissy fit at McDonalds for its Happy Meal deal tie-in with Tim Burton`s Batman Returns. McDonalds, true to form, prematurely withdrew its merchandising. Rumor has it that McDonalds issued a stern warning to Warner Brothers not to tap Burton for the next Batman film. For whatever reason, Warner Brothers caved into the golden arch and ,consequently, put its franchise into a decade long grave with the unwise hiring of director Joel Schumacher.

Only the fundamentalist mindset can associate Big Macs with a certain brand of morality. Looking at Batman Returns (1992), one wonders what the Christian organization was complaining about. The Bible is all throughout the film and, actually the good book itself has far more sex and violence than Batman, Tim Burton, Warner Brothers and McDonalds combined.

Regardless, Batman Returns remains the greatest cinematic comic book movie to date and one of Tim Burton's most uniquely accomplished films. Admittedly, I am not a fan of comic book movies, even if I did read comics some when I was kid, but then most kids I knew did. I was in the minority in preferring DC to Marvel, and I guess I am sort of looking forward to the new Green Lantern movie, mainly because the Green Lantern/Green Arrow comic was a favorite when I was a wee lad in the 1960s and 1970s. That was a comic that was delightfully of its time, a bit like Star Trek in espousing an ultra-liberal message with all the subtlety of a pair of brass knuckles. Even though Green Lantern himself was a bit too righteous and bland, I liked that he was obsessed with the color green and was rendered impotent by the color yellow. There was something surreal in that, and I find the insistence of realism in comics to be a huge oxymoron. Perhaps that's why the dark surrealism of Batman Returns did not bother me like it did mainstream audiences, comic book geeks, and militant pseudo-Christian organizations.

Even though I will acknowledge that Christopher Nolan`s Dark Knight (2008) was well crafted, it would not have worked without Ledger's performance holding it together. Christian Bale's Bruce Wayne, however, pales compared to Michael Keaton's much more intense, internalized, subtle and complex Wayne. Finally, Nolan's film feels like it has one subplot too many. Comparatively, Tim Burton's Batman Returns is a genuine freak show, which is as it should be. This is the Dark Knight filtered through a young Tim Burton still channeling the influence of Tod Browning. It is an inimitable, energetically enthusiastic film which revels in its weirdness with a style and texture all its own.

The deformed Penguin is born to rich parents (Paul Reubens and Diane Salinger, both of 1985's Pee Wee's Big Adventure) who dispose of him in the sewer like Moses being dumped in the Nile (choreographed to composer Danny Elfman's wordless choral music). Penguins and circus performers rescue their potential deliverer, and the saga begins 33 years later (Christ allegory there). Characteristically, Burton propels us into a yuletide world, only this is a season as envisioned by the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come in the expressionist land of silent film forefathers. Fritz Lang, Guy Maddin and Jack Skellington know this Gotham.

Christopher Walken emerges as the beautifully ludicrous-wigged energy tycoon Max Schreck (named after the actor who played Count Orlock--AKA Dracula--in F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu). Schreck lives in his Metropolis-inspired ivory tower and emerges to give a holiday speech to the crowd below. The infamous Circus Gang interrupts the proceedings via a giant Christmas present which literally rolls into the town square, shooting forth clowns on motorcycles, strongmen, fire eating jesters, and a machine gun wielding monkey.

Commissioner Gordon (Pat Hingle) turns on the Bat Signal not a moment too soon, because Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) is alone in his mansion, getting ready to turn on "Blue Christmas." Batman saves Schreck's secretary, Selena Kyle (Michelle Pfeifer), from a killer clown with a tazer, but Schreck is nowhere to be found. That's because he has unwittingly stumbled upon the underground sewer abode of the legendary Penguin Man (Danny DeVito). The Penguin's lair looks like a cross between the Phantom of the Opera's cavern and Vincent Price`s Theater of Blood (1973).

This is not Burgess Meredith's Penguin (taking nothing from Meredith). Devito's Penguin is, by turns, empathetic, repulsive and genuinely threatening. With Schreck's help (via blackmail) Penguin intends to ascend to the world above, locate his parents (already dead, probably by the Penguin's hands) and take over Gotham as the new mayor. He also has a secret plan of revenge against the whole of Gotham by killing every first born male child (shades of Ramses and King Herod). Meanwhile, Schreck "kills" Selena by pushing her out a window after she stumbles upon some hidden files. However, Selena is revived by flesh-eating kitty cats. She returns to her Barbie doll apartment, turns "Hello There" into "Hell Here", fashions a black leather cat suit on an old sewing machine, and Catwoman is born.

Pfeifer, who can often be stoic, is amazing here. It is the best performance of her career and she is full of surprises. Like Penguin, she arouses empathy and she arouses Batman/Bruce Wayne as well. Not only is Wayne sexually attracted to her, but he senses a truly kindred spirit. In the first Batman (1989) Wayne's romantic relationship seemed a mismatch but here Wayne's falling in love with Selena/Catwoman is natural and understandable. You really want them to make it, although you know it is, as Catwoman predicts, "not a fairy tale to be."

Even the loathsome Schreck has a degree of empathy in his love for his son, which leaves us the character of Batman. Here, Keaton's Wayne is not saddled with the unfolding of his origin story, as he was in the previous film. Oddly, many critics of the first film commented that Keaton's performance paled next to the extroverted Jack Nicholson. Seen today, Nicholson's performance seems obvious while Keaton's has grown considerably in stature. Keaton's Batman is the eye of the hurricane. In Returns, Wayne's inner angst is already firmly established. Here, he suffers more from restlessness, lack of direction, his inability to connect, boredom, intense loneliness, and seasonal blues, which makes his unease with the world much more vivid. In the guise of Batman, Wayne is not above igniting one opponent and blowing up another (in fact he clearly enjoys it), all while lecturing Selena for wanting to kill Schreck. Keaton does not resort to a tried and true lazy playboy act. It is very apparent to all that Bruce Wayne is as disturbed as Batman. Batman/Bruce Wayne fully fits in this quartet of freaks.

When his collaboration with Schreck predictably sours, Penguin, with the help of rocket launching penguins and a henchman who must have taken kidnapping lessons from Robert Helpmann's Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968), ignites his plan to mass murder the children.

The scene in which Selena and Wayne find out the truth about one another is well done and probably is the only time this plot element has worked in any comic book film (the uncovering of the `secret identity' did not work at all in the first Batman film, in Superman, or in the Spider-Man film). The boat ride in the sewer recalls Phantom of the Opera (1925), and the unmasking of Batman in front of Selena echoes Lon Chaney and Mary Philbin. Despite Penguin's terrible plans, his fate is a sad one.

Batman Returns erupts in a dizzying apocalypse straight from the theater of the absurd. This is a superhero burlesque as only Tim Burton, at this stage in his career, could have delivered. At the center of this burlesque are freaks we care about; only they are not really freaks, and the film ends with a bit of sad reflection and an urge to turn on "Blue Christmas."

* MY REVIEW WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED AT 366 WEIRD MOVIES
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Batman Returns Blu ray, 31 Dec 2008
No way is the transfer on this film anywhere near as good as the Dark Knight. It is obvious that the film has simply been transfered to Blu Ray without any touching up or remaster job being done. That said it is still a good transfer and very crisp and clear for an older film but their is some noticeable grain at times. Sound is dolby true hd which sounds great on a good set up.

The biggest selling point for me with this film is that not only does it contain all the bonus features from the 2 disc dvd edition it also contains the Tim Burton commentary track. many of you may remember that this was missing from the 2 disc dvd. The reason for this was that at the last minute the BBFC decided to cut one scene from the film where catwoman puts some areosol cans in the microwave in the department store and this blows up. Apparantly the BBFC thought this might be copied by impressionable kids, Doh!! by taking out this scene it also meant the commentary had to be taken out although the dvd box still stated it was on the disc.

This version of the film is fully uncut and does include the described catwoman scene and the commentary so get this quick in case the BBFC realise this and cut future releases.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Batman Returns is one of the best comic book movies ever., 11 Nov 2005
I got all of the new 2 disc Special Editions of the Batman movies on DVD,The bonus features are brilliant especially "The Shadow Of The Bat: Cinematic Saga Of The Dark Knight" Documentary which is spread across all 4 DVD's.
But the one bit of criticism I have is the fact that there was no commentary at all,yet this was promised on the box and the other 3 movies had one.
Still a great improvement on the original DVD release though.
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