I don't know about you, but I love a comic book movie and Batman is one of the best and most interesting comic book characters to grace our big screen.



Of course, we have been treated to quite a few Batman movies in recent years but it was the 1989 movie that introduced me to this genre of film and was a popular one while I was growing up.

It was summer 1989 when Batman hit the big screen and marked the return of the fantastic Tim Burton to the director's chair. Batman was only the third feature film for Burton and came after Pee-wee's Big Adventure and Beetlejuice. This was to be his second film project with Michael Keaton, who took on the title role, while Jack Nicholson was also on board as The Joker.

I have always loved the gothic feel that Burton brought to his version of Batman as it has a dark and almost claustrophobic feel from it from start to finish. For me, Burton really did capture the visual style from the original comics by Bob Kane - Burton and co have created a world that is unmistakably Gotham and couldn't be mistaken for anywhere else.

The look and feel of Gotham plays a huge part in this film as the city almost becomes a character in its own right. And while the look is very faithful to the comics, Burton has put his own and unique gothic style on such an infamous fictional city.

However, it is not all about the look of the film as the casting is also spot on as Keaton and Nicholson go head to head. I suppose Keaton wouldn't have necessarily been a first choice to play Batman and yet there is something about him in this role that is just so right and he helped pave the way for other actors to take on this role on the big screen.

We all know that it is Nicholson that does steal the show as the Joker as he well and truly made this character his own. In fact we would have to wait until 2008 until another actor would bravely tackle this role - that, of course, was Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight.

Nicholson just delivers a larger than live performance as the Joker as he find the perfect balance between terrifying and incredibly funny. It will be a character that he will forever be synonymous with and it remains one of his greatest ever film performances - not to mention one of my favourites.

The scenes were Keaton and Nicholson come face to face are some of the film's best as these two fascinating characters dance around one another in a bid to outmanoeuvre the other.

With what Christopher Nolan achieved with his Batman trilogy it will be hard for some to look back at Burton's movie without comparing it to what came years later. However, Burton moved Batman on from the camp and comic TV interpretations of the sixties and created a dark, visually dramatic, and enthralling film.

Burton's Batman remains the yardstick against which all other Batman movies that followed have been measured against. And while Nolan may have taken the Batman movies to another level it was the 1989 movie that made all of that possible. Burton's creation remains one of the best and most entertaining comic book films and one that I still find myself going back to.

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