Jack Nicholson

Terms of Endearment

Year: 1983
Directed By: James L Brooks
Written By: Larry McMurty (novel) James L Brooks (screenplay)

RYAN’S REVIEW

This is a movie that I would never normally go for and in fact had never even heard of it until about six years ago. I was listening to my favorite morning radio show when I heard about it. A funny conversation about the movie caught my attention and I sought out the film to see it for myself. When I saw this film for the first time I was really impressed with the drama of it all. The performances of Jack Nicholson and Shirley MacLaine were very strong and I felt it qualified for a place on the shelf.

Years ago I was riding around listening to my favorite morning radio show, The Two Guys Named Chris. They had gotten a big celebrity interview with Jeff Daniels and spent all morning teasing it. As I drove along and listened to the host, Chris Kelly, interview Daniels he spent most of the time talking about this movie I had never heard of, Terms of Endearment. At one point he asked Daniels what the Oscars were like to which Daniels replied he didn’t know because he had never been invited. He apparently was the only actor not nominated for his role in the movie and it led to an awkward exchange that had me laughing all the way home.

With this interview leaving me laughing I had to see the movie that had amassed so many awards the year before I was born. Little did I know that while the interview left me laughing this movie would inspire very few laughs and in fact I’m unashamed to admit I cried my freaking eyes out. Watching it this time around was even worse because I find myself the head of a family of five and the heartache hits home so much harder.

I dare you to watch this movie and keep your eyes dry. If you manage it I’d question whether or not you actually have a soul because this is the type of movie to suck you in and then bring you to your knees emotionally. As we watched it I literally found myself trying to look away so I didn’t cry my eyes out in front of my wife, but I failed and the tears fell.

I bought this movie and added it to the collection after seeing it for the first time because of the emotional response it got out of me. As life carries on you can almost become numb to things over time but movies like this remind me that I’m still alive because it makes my emotions bleed through my eyes.

Another reason I bought this movie was because I simply marveled at Jack Nicholson. I have never been a fan, and I always admire an actor I don’t like that manages to win me over. One of my favorite lines in this movie is from the scene where Shirley MacLaine went to his house for the first time and mentioned that his home was a bit egotistical. It is decorated heavily with space and astronaut stuff. His reply was something like “there are only 100 astronauts in the whole fucking world and I’m one of them!” That he had a right to be egotistical was hilarious to me and I love that line and scene.

Months later….

OK so we started binging Game of Thrones and it took us a couple of months. Somewhere along the line this post got lost in the shuffle and I couldn’t begin to tack on a finisher now. I don’t even have the energy to read back through this sad and unfortunate film to proofread it so excuse me if there are typos in it. It’s a tough one, but I think it is definitely worth your time under the right circumstances.

NEXT MOVIE: Thank You for Smoking (2005)

 

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The Shining

Year: 1980
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick
Written By: Stephen King (novel) Stanley Kubrick and Diane Johnson (screenplay)

RYAN’S REVIEW

This movie really features the best of both worlds. It’s a movie directed by one of the greatest filmmakers of all time based on a book written by one of the most popular horror writers of all time. This turned out to not be such a perfect marriage between Stanley Kubrick and Stephen King but it’s still hard to argue with the final product.

This movie was made by a true master of his trade and you can see that from the very onset of the film. The panning shot of the horizon as the car drives toward the hotel is both breathtaking and eerie with the musical overtone. This is largely hailed as one of the greatest horror films ever made and I think this intro sets the tone for a scary film. The stillness of the camera as it rolls over the scenery is particularly impressive. The perfection of Stanley Kubrick really shines through this movie from beginning to end. It’s an aesthetically pleasing movie with it’s incredible set designs and contrasting colors. Nearly every shot of this movie is filled with color almost like it was painted for the screen. Kubrick was an artist and you can see that in all his films; a truly one of a kind filmmaker.

While this movie is considered one of the best horror films ever made there is one strong opinion to the contrary. The author of the book, Stephen King, absolutely hated the movie and spent years bashing it before he was contractually silenced in order to make his own version. He has a lot of problems with the movie and is on record saying he has no idea what people find scary about it. The truth is that it was his baby and a new step daddy raised it into something different than King had in mind. He did not like the casting of either Jack Nicholson or Shelley Duvall. He specifically hated Duvall as she was the exact opposite of the character he wrote and he felt like Nicholson’s Jack was crazy from the get go rather than having a slow descent into madness as in the book. As far as King is concerned it’s far scarier for a Jack who is actually a loving and caring father to go crazy rather than a Jack who seems sort of already crazy when the movie starts. The hotel itself is the real villain, and Nicholson’s performance makes Jack the primary villain as opposed to merely a weapon of the evil hotel.

Jack Nicholson is truly magnificent in this movie, the true face of a madman. It’s easy to see why King hated the part because in the Jack is obviously a little crazy from the beginning. It seems a bit obvious in the scene on the ride to the hotel with his family. Nicholson really comes off as if he is suppressing rage throughout the whole scene. It may not have been how King envisioned the part for the adaptation but it is hard to argue with Nicholson’s performance. He does appear a bit crazy from the get go but when he starts delving farther into madness he is truly terrifying.

On the other hand I don’t understand why they ever cast Shelley Duvall in the role of Wendy. Not only did she not even come close to resembling the original character but she is simply awful. Her acting simply isn’t on par with the others in this movie and she is legitimately annoying throughout the entire film. Kubrick wanted her for the part because he wanted a weak and vulnerable Wendy, and to ensure he got one he bullied her relentlessly during filming. She appears so on edge throughout the film because she actually was on edge in real life working under Kubrick. I find her to be too weak and vulnerable though. It’s off putting, she is the weak link in this otherwise fantastic movie.

This was practically the only thing that Danny Lloyd ever did as an actor. He made one appearance in a TV film before retiring as an actor at the age of 9. It is unfortunate because he did such a compelling job in this movie that it would have been interesting to see what else he was capable of. He came up with the finger thing for Tony on his own and I think it was a really effective tool to have stumbled across. I have always thought that this little kid talking to his finger in that creepy voice was part of what made the film so scary. Due to his young age Danny wasn’t actually privy to what the movie he was making was about and Kubrick managed to get him through the film without him ever realizing that he was making a horror film. He remained under the impression throughout filming that he was filming a drama about a family that lived in a hotel.

One of my favorite performances in the movie is that of Scatman Crothers, who just embodied everything I had imagined for the character when I read the book. This was a hard movie on him at age 70 and his friend Jack Nicholson actually had to smooth things over with him multiple times. Kubrick is notorious for taking several takes of everything and he at one point nearly brought Crothers to tears after an unreasonable amount of takes in which Crothers seemingly could not please the director. If I’m not mistaken it was the airplane scene in which he simply asks the stewardess when they will be arriving. After an insane amount of takes Crothers looked at Kubrick and asked him what he wanted, to which Kubrick replied “I want you to do it right.”

Of all the movies we have reviewed this October this is the only one so far that fits with the season. The other horror movies have all been disappointing or flawed in some aspect but this one is legit. Whether King liked it or not it’s still a great movie that offers plenty of entertainment. He might have not found it scary but there are plenty of people who disagree with him. Personally I don’t find it too scary but entertaining none the less and it has the feel of a horror film. Horror films simply aren’t made with this quality of filmmaker and cast. It’s what makes this movie exceptional. King’s version of the film has it’s merits but it will never stand up against what Stanley Kubrick was able to do. I would easily recommend this movie to watch during Halloween season, it’s worth your time.

As a side note there is an interesting conspiracy theory attached to this film that is enough to make you question things. Check it out below and leave a comment with your thoughts if you feel so inclined.

Did Stanley Kubrick film the moon landing? I don’t know but while the whole the conspiracy theory surrounding this movie has been debunked I still find it to be quite interesting. I do not know if the moon landing was real or not and truthfully I have never cared. I’m not big on conspiracy theories because they simply encourage the foolish, and things are never quite so theatrical in real life. Yet there are certain differences in this movie from the book that have always befuddled me. Specifically the 237 room number makes me wonder. The number 217 was used in the book and it is specifically a Stephen King thing to use numbers that add up to 19. It’s change in the movie was apparently a request by the hotel so people didn’t get spooked by a real room within the hotel but if it actually correlates with the distance to the moon then it is a fascinating coincidence. While I have no interest in the conspiracy theory I do think if a director was hired to do it Stanley Kubrick would have been the one chosen. Kubrick was arguably the greatest filmmaker of all time and he was so intelligent that the theory makes me wonder. Is it a coincidence or was Kubrick actually trying to tell us something? I’ll let you decide, check out the video below and take a trip down the rabbit hole.

 

 

Mars Attacks!

Year: 1996
Directed By: Tim Burton
Written By: Jonathan Gems

RYAN’S REVIEW

In 1996 I was 12 years old and spent a lot of time at work with my dad wandering from movie to movie in the theater he worked at.  I spent years doing this in my youth but 1996 specifically sticks out because it was when I first started paying attention to trailers and anticipating movies before they came out.  In 1996 I had my eye on the big summer blockbuster that year, Independence Day. From the moment I first sat in the auditorium and saw that incredible image of the White House being blown up by a flying saucer I don’t know that I had ever wanted to see something so bad in my life.  At 12 years old I don’t think I had ever seen anything quite so devastating on screen and the preview promised what my mind built up to be the most awesome movie ever.  I waited with an anticipation that grew at a rate only a 12 year old’s imagination can keep up with.  When the movie finally came out I was seated in the first row of a crowded theater and my mouth was watering.  Two and a half hours later I walked out of the theater disheartened and depressed.  I had suffered through my first major disappointment from a movie and I will never forget that feeling.  The previews had implied such wide spread destruction and I had imagined battles that would dazzle my eyes and satisfy all my hopes and desires.  What I saw seemed more like a drama than an action movie and I felt like I had already seen all the exciting parts in the previews.  It was a learning experience because at that young age I had to learn to deal with the let down of something I had built up to much in my head.  In 1996 my parent’s divorce was still a recent thing and that is a devastating thing to the life of any child.  My response to the personal turmoil was to hide in movie theaters by myself and forget about what was going on in my life.  I only say that to stress the fact that Independence Day being such a letdown was significant to me and the memory has stayed with me very clearly.  I would have to wait another five months that year before my faith in films was restored, and it was this movie that restored it.

For everything Independence Day lacked this film had in spades.  Nobody was safe from these aliens; they came to take over and they didn’t pull any punches.   This movie may be silly but it gave me everything I had wanted from Independence Day and I loved it. This movie had a better and bigger cast and although it was just a comedy it offered more chaos and battle than I had seen in the first film about an alien invasion.  The President in this movie wasn’t the unlikely hero who went into action but a more realistic air head continually making stupid decisions at the behest of his equally air headed staff. The aliens don’t simply destroy our cities and overwhelmingly remain out of sight but strike fast and hard with manipulation and ruthlessness. I love how the aliens run through town blasting everyone into dust while holding a translator that keeps broadcasting what they are saying, “STOP! We are your friends.” I love the simplicity of the aliens in this film.  They look just as we typically expect aliens to look, little bodies with big heads.  They ride around in flying saucers that are nothing fancy and they use guns that look like toys yet bring us to our knees when they attack.  These aliens have no remorse and laugh at our efforts to be welcoming and forgiving.  These aliens are simple and even humorous to a degree and I think it’s interesting that they still manage to be more threatening than anything we saw in Independence Day. Yeah maybe the aliens in that film looked creepy with their slimy tentacles and telepathic capabilities but we barely see them, and they are just lame next to these guys from the canyons of Mars.

I am a huge fan of Tim Burton but despite the Danny Elfman score I have never felt this movie really felt like a typical Tim Burton film.  The elements are there, the way the flying saucers land specifically being the obvious work of Burton but it still feels different.  The movie is so colorful, and while Burton can be colorful there is usually darkness that goes along with it.  The content of the film notwithstanding this film doesn’t feel dark at all and in fact it might be one of the “brightest” films Burton has ever made.  It doesn’t have that gloom that tends to linger somewhere or the other in all of his films.  Plenty of people he has worked with in the past are on board in the cast of this film but no one he is specifically synonymous with like Johnny Depp or Michael Keaton. This was before he married Helena Bonham Carter and started casting her in all of his films.  If I’m not mistaken, when this movie was made he was married to Lisa Marie, who played the alien in disguise that infiltrated the White House. Nevertheless, while this seems to be against the grain a bit for Burton it still undoubtedly has his stamp on it.  He is a great filmmaker and I have specifically loved many of his movies.  This isn’t even in the conversation of his best films but I think anything he has done does deserve some honorable mention if it was entertaining.  This movie may be silly but it is definitely entertaining and I think it’s worth mentioning when discussing his career.

This movie does have a terrific cast but I tend to think it’s the actor’s names rather than their performances that jump out at you.  With few exceptions, Jack Nicholson was great playing dual roles in the film.  Although his performance as the President is hands down the better of the two and I think it is part of what makes the movie so great.  After the Martians turn Congress to dust Nicholson says he “wants the American people to know they still have 2/3rds of their government left and THAT AIN’T BAD!” Martin Short was quite funny and it was cool seeing a young Natalie Portman with all the talent she has always had. I really liked Rod Steiger and Paul Winfield as the two opposing Generals.  Winfield being the Colin Powell of the two and Steiger playing a more General Turgidson type. Jim Brown showed promise as an actor, like he does whenever given the opportunity.  Otherwise I don’t know that anyone else did anything well enough to really distinguish themselves.  It was great to see so many popular actors all together on screen because it’s always fun the more stars you have in the film.  Also noteworthy is that this was the last film Michael J Fox was in before the news of his condition would eventually be divulged.  He would continue acting on television for several more years but this was his last significant film role.

This movie will never get the credibility it deserves, or at least the credibility it has in my eyes for beating the pants off of Independence Day. Incidentally I have reason to think I’m alone in my criticism of Independence Day because somebody must have liked it.  Not only did it make lots of money at the box office but as we inch closer to 20 years later it has been in discussion for a sequel recently.  There are two versions of the sequel written, one with Will Smith reprising his role and one without.  I’m guessing that it will be lame for obvious reason, and while I have had my ear to the ground I haven’t heard one word about these Martians coming back.  Not that it would be a good idea either, one and done was good enough for this film and anything more would only sully what it was.  If you are with me on this, if you felt the pain of disappointment from that big alien invasion blockbuster, then check this movie out.  It’s better, more satisfying, and on top of everything else it will give you plenty of good laughs.

On a bottom side note I just wanted to mention that this film also offers a great shot of New York featuring the Two Towers of the World Trade Center.  It’s the kind of thing that I never gave any thought to when I watched the movie in 1996, but watching it now could give any American that odd feeling of loss.

AMBER’S REVIEW

This is one of those movies most people can watch over and over. I remember seeing the trailers for this when it first came out. I thought it looked ridiculous. It turns out it was ridiculously funny. There are so many things in the movie that don’t really make sense, but ultimately I think that it made it that much funnier. I used to watch this on Comedy Central all the time when I was younger, but I haven’t seen it in a while. It was really nice to be able to sit down and watch it last night.

marsattacks

This poster couldn’t fit better with the movie. I think it is very, very clear what the film is about and I think it even shows Tim Burton’s style. The wig of the Martian, the cloak of the other Martian. The typography for me is a little cheesy, but at the same time it works because it resembles the font choices of other sci-fi alien invading movies. I think this poster has too much going on, but at least they didn’t try and fit the entire star studded cast into a group. They chose some of them to highlight and then neatly fit the others into boxes across the bottom, which I appreciate. Overall I like this poster and movie.

NEXT MOVIE: Masters of the Universe (1987)….oh yeah, the movie with Dolph Lundgren

The Departed

Year: 2006
Directed By: Martin Scorsese
Written By: William Monahan

RYAN’S REVIEW

This was considered by some to be the pinnacle of Martin Scorsese‘s career after it won the Academy Awards for best direction and best picture, among others.  It won those awards honorably because this is an exceptional movie and aside from the fact that he had such a great cast to work with Scorsese has just gotten really good at what he does. I don’t think this is Scorsese’s best, as good as it is it’s still a recycled movie, and I think Scorsese has made much better films. I call it recycled because this movie is based off of a Hong Kong film that came out years earlier. I am disappointed with the idea that we have to borrow ideas from the other side of the world in order to have hits, but it’s hard to argue with such an exciting and entertaining movie.

Scorsese did do a great job making this movie but I think he had a lot to work with as far as script and talent go.  He gathered a great cast of very talented actors and some of them really distinguished themselves with this film.  Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the greatest actors of his generation, he outdoes himself with nearly every film and has been doing so since a young age. I think he is terrific in this film but I think he and Scorsese’s best collaboration was Gangs of New York in 2002.  I am not the biggest Jack Nicholson fan but I think he did do a great job in this movie. He was given a lot of freedom with his character in order to make him more provocative and unpredictable. He used the freedom to great benefit for the film.  Ray Winstone as his right hand man Mr. French is awesome, I am a big Winstone fan.  Matt Damon is good and well cast in his part.  Alec Baldwin is great in his small but important role.  Martin Sheen was cast when Robert De Niro had a scheduling conflict and that’s too bad. I am a fan of Anthony Anderson but I don’t know that he was appropriately cast in this film.

I think the actor that distinguishes himself the most in this film is Mark Wahlberg, who really stood out among such an elite cast.  I do not like Wahlberg but cannot deny his talent due to roles like this.  I have had a problem with Wahlberg since seeing a documentary about him a while back.  When I found out that Wahlberg had spent time in prison for what pretty much amounts to a hate crime I developed a different attitude toward him.  When he was younger he was arrested for beating a Vietnamese man almost to death with a blunt object in order to steal a six pack of beer from him while screaming racial slurs. He spent some time in jail for that and when he got out of jail his brother was part of New Kids on the Block.  He became the opening act as Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch.  Later he was discovered by Calvin Klein and used as an underwear model.  He soon began an acting career and the rest is history.  Today he is not only a superstar actor but a successful producer involved with HBO.  I have to admit he is talented but I really despise a racist douche bag and hate it every time I have to accept that he was good in something. Despite all his success he has never made an effort to make amends with the man that he blinded for life.  I consider it unfortunate when that kind of person reaches the level of success that Wahlberg is at, but it happens all the time.

This was a great movie and given that it won best picture of the year plenty of people saw it and offered their opinions.  You don’t need me to tell you this was a good film because you have probably already been told.  I don’t think this movie is quite as good as everyone makes it out to be but I do think it was a really awesome movie.  It is worth your time and I would recommend it to anyone.

AMBER’S REVIEW

This is one of those movies that will suck you into the story line. It is filled with stars that everyone knows, and it truly is an unforgettable movie. You can’t really guess what is going to happen and as soon as you think you have it figured it out, it changes and leaves you guessing again.

This movie is filled with attractive actors and seasoned pros. I definitely recommend it if you haven’t seen it. It was very, very popular when it came out and I haven’t met anyone that has seen it that doesn’t like it.

NEXT MOVIE: Desperado (1995)

Chinatown

Year: 1974
Directed By: Roman Polanski
Written By: Robert Towne

RYAN’S REVIEW

Most of the movies we own are dear to us in one way or another.  However sometimes I see a movie I find so impressive I feel compelled to own it.  Chinatown is a movie in the latter category.  It was in my college film class that I first saw this movie and it surprised me.  I bought it shortly after seeing it and don’t think I watched again since. It has just quietly sat on the shelf for about six years now and I had nearly forgotten what it was about all together.  Watching it now I am suddenly reminded what it was that compelled me to add it to the collection in the first place.  I am again finding myself surprised how good this movie actually is, and enjoying the mystery.

All I could remember about this film was that it had something to do with water.  That sounds so boring but like I said, this movie is surprising.  It takes place in 1937 Los Angeles, where control over water in the desert climate can get tricky.  This is a fascinating mystery that keeps you guessing all along.  It was nominated for everything back in 74 but only Robert Towne went home with the gold, for writing.  This film is very well-regarded, and it has even been suggested as the greatest movie ever made.  It is considered historically significant because it brought attention to a little known problem out west being the disputes over land and water rights in California.  It also solidified the careers of two rising stars in Roman Polanski and Jack Nicholson.

I will be honest and admit that I do not know enough about Roman Polanski to have a fair opinion of him.  I know that he was involved with a sexual situation involving a minor that he fled the country to avoid charges over, but I know few specifics in regard to what happened. I know that he has lived through quite a bit of diversity in his life and has overcome it all to be very successful despite it.  Polanski survived the Holocaust as a child.  That alone should be enough horror for ten lifetimes of ordinary people but in 1969 chance would work against him again.  His pregnant wife, the movie star Sharon Tate, along with her friends were savagely murdered by the Manson Family for no discernible reason.  It’s not really fair for anybody to have to live through that.  That does not justify his crimes, I’m just noting the unfortunate circumstances he has had to live through.  With this film  Polanski really enjoyed a lot of success, he just barely lost the Oscar to Coppola though, who won for The Godfather II.  Polanski even has a small cameo in the film as the gangster who slashes Nicholson’s nose. It’s a bold move too to slice the nose of your lead star, but I think it had the desired effect.  Nicholson did very well with this role, even with a bandage over his face for most of the film.  I am no Jack Nicholson fan, but I’ll give him the respect he deserves when he is due, and he is definitely due in the role of J.J. Gittes.  It’s one of the marque roles in a long and successful career full of big time roles.

Give this movie a chance and Chinatown will speak for itself.  I am always partial to the film noir genre so this movie is real easy for me to like.  I love movies that keep me guessing and really make me think.  Chinatown sports what is apparently considered one of the greatest screenplays ever and the movie is the focal point of many lectures and classes in film schools.  That alone makes it worth your time to see it.

AMBER’S REVIEW

I’ll be honest, I have never seen this movie.  I had never even heard of it and actually had no idea that we owned it.  When we started watching it the other night it was really late and I fell asleep early on.  I am going to watch it eventually because what I did see was very interesting.  I will come back at a later date and fill this entry in with a real review after I have seen it.

NEXT MOVIE: The Chinese Connection (1972)

Batman (1989)

Year: 1989
Directed By: Tim Burton
Written By: San Hamm

RYAN’S REVIEW

Now this is more like it, Batman the way he is supposed to be portrayed.  I don’t know what they were thinking in the 60s, but they weren’t taking the character or genre seriously.  Batman isn’t a know it all do-gooder in a costume, he is a dark and haunted character that breaks the law in order to enforce it.  Batman is a good guy, but he is one of those “the ends justify the means” kind of guys which makes him more of a good guy/bad guy hero.  One thing is for certain and that is that Warner Brothers loves making movies about him, they have made both good and bad decisions about the franchise. By next summer there will have been seven live action Batman films from the studio over the past 23 years, and that wouldn’t have been possible if this movie wasn’t awesome. Batman has a great suit in this film, the Batman emblem on his chest is my favorite, I’ve always like the yellow and black best.  The Batmobile is totally badass, with a shield and the ability to be voice operated from anywhere.  The action figures and accessory toys from this film where what I played with as a 5-7 year old in the late 80s early 90s so I can assure you, all the bat gadgets were awesome.  With so many different incarnations of the character there has always been specific emphasis on how Batman, the Batmobile, Bruce Wayne, and certain other recurring aspects of the series differ from one another.  Some Batman films failed, but this one didn’t, this one set the bar high for the franchise.

Tim Burton was at his best when he made this movie, also making Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands in the years before and after.  I am a Tim Burton fan and I am a big fan of his two Batman films.  He has such an interesting ability to be both dark and colorful at the same time.  The choice of Michael Keaton to play Batman was apparently criticized but I still think he has been the best actor to play the role.  Christian Bale is great in the newer movies, but Bale has no upper lip, something important when only the lower half of your face is visible in the costume.  I doubt I would have loved the choice of Keaton in 1989 myself but having grown up with him as Batman I tend to be more accepting and think of it as the role he was made for. I have never been a Jack Nicholson fan, with few exceptions and this movie is not one of them.  I know Nicholson is legendary for the amount of money he made on this film but even before The Dark Knight I didn’t really think he was suited well for the part.  He was old even back in 1989 at 52 years old, I tend to think the Joker should be young.  You can’t cast an old man who shows his age and the ageless arch-enemy of Batman.  I know I am in the minority on this issue though, Nicholson’s portrayal of the Joker made him a legend just as much as the money he made on the movie did.  I don’t think Kim Basinger was anything special in this movie but she didn’t have to be either.  It’s a rule of thumb that a comic book film must have a hot chick/love interest.  Kim Basinger served those purposes perfectly as she was in her youthful prime and on the way to a much more successful career. I don’t usually mention the musical score of a movie but Danny Elfman’s score for this movie deserves special mention.  The musical score for any movie should set the mood and guide the viewer through the movie.  The music should counter balance with the scenes to invoke the right emotion or build anticipation.  The score of this movie does both those things and more, Danny Elfman is a great composer.

I have been a little overly interested in Batman lately as my anticipation for the long-awaited Dark Knight Rises continues to build.  Over this summer I have read several Batman graphic novels actually including Batman: Year One, The Dark Knight Returns, The Dark Knight Strikes Again, and The Long Halloween.  The middle two are exceptionally well done and I would suggest them to anybody because they are awesome.  I have developed a new appreciation for the character and have really high hopes for Christopher Nolan’s next installment.  I’m afraid that the newer Batman films have been so good that they make this one and its sequels forgettable, but I hope that’s not the case.  This movie is a classic, a great Batman film, and the beginning of a long-standing franchise.  It is worth your time to see it.

AMBER’S REVIEW

Doesn’t Michael Keaton make and incredibly sexy Batman? I mean, I get it…he is no Christian Bale (whom I apparently am the only non-fan of), but for me, I just get giggly whenever I hear him say “I am Batman” for the first time. Does anyone remember when Michael Keaton was the “it” guy in Hollywood? Younger generations may not, but I do. I was younger, but I remember. Wow, that never really went anywhere did it. This Batman movie was the first in this series and I think it played as a catalyst for serious comic book movies. It did for me anyway.

This Batman movie actually won an oscar for Best Art/Set Direction. I think that suits a Tim Burton film to a tee, don’t you. The plot of this film is intriguing, I believe because Jack Nicholson is just so damn scary. I don’t think I would ever want to run into him somewhere, especially after seeing him as the joker. Anything I see him in I automatically revert back to him as the Joker. Scary. I give this film two of my thumbs up and I think you should definitely watch it if you like Batman and comic book movies. These are original and beautifully directed, so check them out.

NEXT MOVIE: Batman Returns (1992)