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Battle of the Batmen: West vs Keaton vs Kilmer vs Clooney vs Bale!

Jul. 17, 2012by:

So- whoís going to see THE DARK KNIGHT RISES this weekend? I know, I know- NO ONE, right? Getting real for a second, the fact that THE DARK KNIGHT RISES is going to be a megahit is a given, to the point that all the studios are giving this a major berth at the box office- with only ICE AGE 3 daring to open the week before (hardly the same audience), and Sony waiting two full weeks to bow TOTAL RECALL.

I think we can all agree that Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale have totally reinvented the character for a new generation, and created one of the truly iconic big-screen heroes of our era. But- Christian Bale was not the first man to don Batmanís cowl on the big-screen, and we here at JoBlo.com thought it might be fun to round up some of the other big-screen (live-action) Caped Crusaders.

Adam West

Aside from the cheesy forties serials, the first actor to play Batman in a major film was Adam West. BATMAN: THE MOVIE, which hit theaters in 1966, and was a spin-off of the popular TV show, co-starring Burt Ward as Robin, and folks like Cesar Romero as The Joker (complete with a painted over mustache), Burgess Meredith as The Penguin, and Julie Newmar as Catwoman.


How does West hold up? Well- first we need to realize that BATMAN: THE MOVIE is cheese, and intentionally so. Back then, the studios assumed the only way to do a comic book adaptation was to do it tongue-in-cheek, so here we have a puny, beer-bellied Batman who fights a rubber shark (with his trusty Batspray), and lectures about the ills of alcoholism. Itís essentially unwatchable unless youíre baked out of your mind (in which case it becomes HIGH-larious). Oh well, at least he avoids breaking out the Batusi.

Michael Keaton

After SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE became a hit in 1978, Warner Bros., decided to finally bring the Caped Crusader to the screen in an all-out blockbuster, but before settling on a more serious take from Tim Burton, the plan had been to turn BATMAN into a comedy, with Bill Murray even being attached at one point. Once Burton decided to go another way, he signed Michael Keaton, who was known as a comic-star. While he had one dark drama under his belt (CLEAN & SOBER), he was mainly thought of as BEETLEJUICE, or the star of THE DREAM TEAM, & NIGHT SHIFT. The fans were outraged until the first teaser hit theaters, reassuring them that this black-clad cold-blooded Batman was unlike anything theyíd seen before.


Watching the two Burton Batmanís, itís clear that Keaton was really on to something as the tortured Dark Knight. In the first film, heís totally overshadowed by Jack Nicholsonís Joker (some argued the film should have just been called JOKER), heís still impressive, with his haunted, possibly unbalanced Bruce Wayne, and his almost totally silent Batman. In the second film, he once again takes a backseat to the villains (Burton always had a taste for the grotesque, and didnít seem interested in a square-jawed hero), but thereís enough juicy bits for Keaton to really make an impression. My favorite shot is of the sullen, pensive Wayne, sitting in the darkened Wayne manor, seemingly waiting for the Bat Signal to be lit- only to finally show some real purpose once it starts shinning.

Of course, itís not a perfect performance. For one thing, Keatonís not physically intimidating in the films, and one assumes that once heís wearing the cowl itís more often than not a stuntman (although the same could be true for any of the Batmanís). I also found it strange in the films how Batman always rakes up a huge body-count, with him killing most of the bad guys- even casually setting a baddie on fire with the engine of the Batmobile in RETURNS. Still, Keatonís by far the best pre-Bale Batman, and his performance stands the test of time- particularly towards the end of RETURNS once he rips off his mask to reason with Michelle Pfeifferís Catwoman. Heís highly underrated in the part, and IF Warnerís decided to reboot the Batman franchise post-Nolan (which is inevitable)- they could do worse than film Frank Millerís THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS with Keaton as the aged Batman.

Val Kilmer

While many thought Keaton was nuts to quit the part after BATMAN RETURNS, in hindsight, this was probably the right move, as Joel Schumacherís campy take on the franchise was only slightly less ridiculous than the old TV show. Val Kilmer was the first to inherit the part for BATMAN FOREVER, and while the film is a mess, Kilmer is reasonably good. The problem with Kilmer is that, back then, he was a character actor who just happened to have the face of a leading man. As Jim Morrison or Doc Holiday, he was great. As Batman or The Saint, he was bland.


Still, heís not a bad Batman or Bruce Wayne, and given the right material, he might have been able to make it work. Sadly, between FOREVER in í95, and BATMAN & ROBIN in í97, Kilmerís career imploded, thanks to the (apparently well-earned) noxious reputation he picked up on the set of FOREVER, and the cataclysmic ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU. Schumacher refused to ever work with him again, so WB ditched him, and brought it George Clooney. BIG MISTAKE.

George Clooney

Clooney is a disaster as Batman. While Clooney probably has a better body of work than any of his contemporaries, he himself would probably admit that prior to OUT OF SIGHT in í98, he wasnít all that great an actor. He was full of ďcooler than coolĒ mannerisms that he gradually ditched over time, but heís given free reign by Schumacher to play the role in a wink-wink way thatís kinda like what it would have been like had Burt Reynolds circa-SMOKEY & THE BANDIT taken on the part.


To be fair to Clooney, even at the top of his game, BATMAN & ROBIN would have been a disaster, with Schumacher giving in to every cheesy impulse to make this a campy nightmare of a film- that was bad enough to all but destroy the franchise for eight years. Itís probably not easy trying to play the role even half seriously when youíre wearing molded, anatomically correct fetish wear, with a codpiece that comes down to the knees. That said, even in a serious Batman film, Iím not convinced Clooney would be right for the part (heís much better as relatable, real world guys as opposed to those who exist in heightened reality).

Which brings us to...

Christian Bale

I think the general consensus is that Baleís Batman is by far the best- and Iím not going to argue with that here. His method approach and dedication to the part are an essential part of whatís made Nolanís films work as well as they have. Like Nolan, Bale takes the material seriously and doesnít play it down. Heís just as invested in Batman has he was in films like THE MACHINIST, and THE FIGHTER, and it shows. Some have criticized the guttural growl he uses for Batman, but for me this has always worked- in that it effectively disguises his identity, in a way thatís a lot more convincing than any of the other actors that played the part.


While he was overshadowed a bit by Heath Ledger in THE DARK KNIGHT, one of my favorite things about the film was how different Baleís performance was compared to the last film. Compared to BEGINS, the Batman of TDK is a worn down, battered man- having seen and done too much to ever allow him to resume any kind of normalcy. I canít wait to see what he does with THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.

I imagine we can all agree that Baleís Batman is iconic in a way that none of the other actors have quite managed- although Keaton was quite good for his time. If he had the same kind of material as Bale- who knows? While THE DARK KNIGHT RISES will undoubtedly be Baleís swan song in the part, itís inevitable that sooner or later Warner Bros., will reboot the franchise. If the JUSTICE LEAGUE movie ends up happening, itís very unlikely that Bale will once again don the cowl- so I suppose weíll see a new take sooner than later.

Extra Tidbit: Props to Kevin Conroy- who made a great Batman in the animated series and THE MASK OF THE PHANTASM.
Source: JoBlo.com

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11:23PM on 07/17/2012
My favorite is Michael Keaton, but Adam West was fun....and Christian Bale is not too shabby.
My favorite is Michael Keaton, but Adam West was fun....and Christian Bale is not too shabby.
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11:05PM on 07/17/2012

My friend complained about Bane...

This is what I told him..Well the thing is Christopher Nolan wanted to test Batman physically. Bane is the perfect one to do that. Not only is Bane strong but he is a mastermind villain, unlike in the Batman & Robin movie (which was shit). I would have loved to see the Riddler or Penguin.. the others Christopher Nolan has stated does not fit his real world perspective of his Trilogy. BTW.. Cat Women is in it, Ash. I think Bane is a good follow up to the Joker. The main points in these trilogy
This is what I told him..Well the thing is Christopher Nolan wanted to test Batman physically. Bane is the perfect one to do that. Not only is Bane strong but he is a mastermind villain, unlike in the Batman & Robin movie (which was shit). I would have loved to see the Riddler or Penguin.. the others Christopher Nolan has stated does not fit his real world perspective of his Trilogy. BTW.. Cat Women is in it, Ash. I think Bane is a good follow up to the Joker. The main points in these trilogy are: Batman Begins is fear( scarecrow), The Dark Knight is Chaos (Joker) and The Dark Knight Rise is Pain (Bane). But originally the studio wanted Leonardo DiCaprio is the Riddler(well rumored), but Christopher Nolan said no... kinda sucks. Also Bane breaks Batman's back in the comics, not sure if that will happen in this one though. At least we will get a reboot in 2015 for Batman, which will fit right into the Justice League movie. lol Oh you Bale all the way.
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8:20PM on 07/17/2012

C'mon let's get nuts!

Bale makes a great Bruce and I've always had Keaton at tops in the cowl. Conroy will always be the true voice of Batman, for me at least. But let's be serious for a moment. Kilmer has obviously already conditioned for "The Dark Knight Returns" role. Have you seen him lately?
Bale makes a great Bruce and I've always had Keaton at tops in the cowl. Conroy will always be the true voice of Batman, for me at least. But let's be serious for a moment. Kilmer has obviously already conditioned for "The Dark Knight Returns" role. Have you seen him lately?
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7:13PM on 07/17/2012
Christian Bale is good and in the best Batman movies, but my choice would be Val Kilmer. I think he did a great job as Batman even though Forever wasn't that great.
Christian Bale is good and in the best Batman movies, but my choice would be Val Kilmer. I think he did a great job as Batman even though Forever wasn't that great.
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7:10PM on 07/17/2012
Gotta go with Bale then Keaton...Keaton's Batman film changed the comic book-to-movie game in my opinion. It was the first Brooding version of a comic that I'd seen that was serious in it's meanness and It never took itself too lightly, which is spot on for a Batman film. With Bale, when I saw him in "Equilibrium " I kept calling it to my friends: "Bale would be a beast as batman!" To date, He's untouchable as the Dark Knight...thanks for proving me right Bale!
Gotta go with Bale then Keaton...Keaton's Batman film changed the comic book-to-movie game in my opinion. It was the first Brooding version of a comic that I'd seen that was serious in it's meanness and It never took itself too lightly, which is spot on for a Batman film. With Bale, when I saw him in "Equilibrium " I kept calling it to my friends: "Bale would be a beast as batman!" To date, He's untouchable as the Dark Knight...thanks for proving me right Bale!
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5:00PM on 07/17/2012
Gotta say I do have a soft spot for West because I grew up with him. Oh and you don't have to be toasted to enjoy his movie (though I am down with that), as I watched it with my young children and they thought it was a riot, I did too.
Lukewarm to Keaton though I didn't hate him.
Bale though nails it because he has the best written Batman and Bruce Wayne to work with.
I've never even seen Forever or Batman & Robin... Arsen't I lucky.
Gotta say I do have a soft spot for West because I grew up with him. Oh and you don't have to be toasted to enjoy his movie (though I am down with that), as I watched it with my young children and they thought it was a riot, I did too.
Lukewarm to Keaton though I didn't hate him.
Bale though nails it because he has the best written Batman and Bruce Wayne to work with.
I've never even seen Forever or Batman & Robin... Arsen't I lucky.
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1:45PM on 07/17/2012
I feel the best performance for Batman ever is Batman Begins. I felt that Bale tapped into a part of the character that hasn't been seen on screen prior to Begins. His purpose is more clear and he comes off as way more intimidating than any other Batman.
I feel the best performance for Batman ever is Batman Begins. I felt that Bale tapped into a part of the character that hasn't been seen on screen prior to Begins. His purpose is more clear and he comes off as way more intimidating than any other Batman.
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12:08PM on 07/17/2012

You can't really compare

You can't really compare to Christopher Nolan's version of Bruce Wayne - think about it, all the other versions of Bruce Wayne made earlier were nice guys, Nolan's went a different route, he made him someone who acted like a rich douchebag so no one would suspect him of being the caped crusader and of course, he had to maintain his rich image.
You can't really compare to Christopher Nolan's version of Bruce Wayne - think about it, all the other versions of Bruce Wayne made earlier were nice guys, Nolan's went a different route, he made him someone who acted like a rich douchebag so no one would suspect him of being the caped crusader and of course, he had to maintain his rich image.
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12:04PM on 07/17/2012

You can't really compare

You can't really compare to Christopher Nolan's version of Bruce Wayne - think about it, all the other versions of Bruce Wayne made earlier were nice guys, Nolan's went a different route, he made him someone who acted like a rich douchebag so no one would suspect him of being the caped crusader and of course, he had to maintain his rich image.
You can't really compare to Christopher Nolan's version of Bruce Wayne - think about it, all the other versions of Bruce Wayne made earlier were nice guys, Nolan's went a different route, he made him someone who acted like a rich douchebag so no one would suspect him of being the caped crusader and of course, he had to maintain his rich image.
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11:31AM on 07/17/2012
I gotta give a slight edge to Keaton as my fav Batman. I really liked Burton's take on Batman & the good thing about them is they still hold up well to this day. The darker take as opposed to the campiness is what fit Batman perfect & Keaton's portrayal was spot on . The story of Batman is anything but comical & I never understood the reason for doing that.

I can appreciate Batman Forever and to me it was the villains that saved the movie. I can see why many feel Kilmer's take is kinda
I gotta give a slight edge to Keaton as my fav Batman. I really liked Burton's take on Batman & the good thing about them is they still hold up well to this day. The darker take as opposed to the campiness is what fit Batman perfect & Keaton's portrayal was spot on . The story of Batman is anything but comical & I never understood the reason for doing that.

I can appreciate Batman Forever and to me it was the villains that saved the movie. I can see why many feel Kilmer's take is kinda bland, he brought nothing new or different.

Now when it comes to Clooney it just didn't feel like he gave a damn about the character of batman or even Bruce Wayne. It just looks like he did it for a paycheck. The fact Schumacher decided to make it campy again & with too many colors is what makes Batman & Robin the worst of all the movies. I do feel its time to forgive Schumacher though & ya know B&R is always good for a laugh.

Finally talking about Bale, he is my 2nd fav as Batman & to me really owns the role We all know how great TDK was as a movie & what stands out the most to me is Batman's intereaction with The Joker & both actors are none short of great & that scene still gives me chills & a rush. What I also love about Nolan's movies is they feel as just one movie & not separate ones like the other 4 movies did. It seems that TDKR will be the perfect way to end his Batman Saga & I can't wait to watch all 3 back to back someday.

Let me also add that I believe Bale is great as both Bruce Wayne & Batman & even the voice doesn't bother me anymore.
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+7
11:23AM on 07/17/2012

Bale, and Keaton for me

They're both great in both rolls,
Bale shows us the many sides to Wayne; The tactical, the playboy, the detective, and the torn between identities. I love that about Nolan's films.
Now Keaton didn't even have the chance to really show us the many sides because that wasn't in Burtons film's but that doesn't mean he didn't play the roll quite well. If i had to give it to one of them it would be Bale, but only because of Nolan showing us more of Wayne, and a wider aspect of Batman
They're both great in both rolls,
Bale shows us the many sides to Wayne; The tactical, the playboy, the detective, and the torn between identities. I love that about Nolan's films.
Now Keaton didn't even have the chance to really show us the many sides because that wasn't in Burtons film's but that doesn't mean he didn't play the roll quite well. If i had to give it to one of them it would be Bale, but only because of Nolan showing us more of Wayne, and a wider aspect of Batman
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+5
11:13AM on 07/17/2012

I have always said...

Val Kilmer made a good Batman but a terrible Bruce Wayne, and George Clooney made a good Bruce Wayne but a terrible Batman.
Val Kilmer made a good Batman but a terrible Bruce Wayne, and George Clooney made a good Bruce Wayne but a terrible Batman.
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10:56AM on 07/17/2012
Sorry everyone the damn browser reloaded twice and posted this 3 times. Seems to be a bug.
Sorry everyone the damn browser reloaded twice and posted this 3 times. Seems to be a bug.
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10:55AM on 07/17/2012
RE extra tidbit: What no praise for mark hammill as quite possibly one of the most iconic joker voices of all time. Quite an amazing thing to go from being luke skywalker to the joker.

As for which batman I prefer, I still prefer keaton in that role. That one seriously set the tone for a lot of the batman movies to follow. If not for that amazing batman we would probably still be stucky with cheesy batman as opposed to kick as batman. Great article though.
RE extra tidbit: What no praise for mark hammill as quite possibly one of the most iconic joker voices of all time. Quite an amazing thing to go from being luke skywalker to the joker.

As for which batman I prefer, I still prefer keaton in that role. That one seriously set the tone for a lot of the batman movies to follow. If not for that amazing batman we would probably still be stucky with cheesy batman as opposed to kick as batman. Great article though.
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10:44AM on 07/17/2012
RE extra tidbit: What no praise for mark hammill as quite possibly one of the most iconic joker voices of all time. Quite an amazing thing to go from being luke skywalker to the joker.

As for which batman I prefer, I still prefer keaton in that role. That one seriously set the tone for a lot of the batman movies to follow. If not for that amazing batman we would probably still be stucky with cheesy batman as opposed to kick as batman. Great article though.
RE extra tidbit: What no praise for mark hammill as quite possibly one of the most iconic joker voices of all time. Quite an amazing thing to go from being luke skywalker to the joker.

As for which batman I prefer, I still prefer keaton in that role. That one seriously set the tone for a lot of the batman movies to follow. If not for that amazing batman we would probably still be stucky with cheesy batman as opposed to kick as batman. Great article though.
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1:33PM on 07/17/2012
This article is about best Batman not best Joker.
This article is about best Batman not best Joker.
10:25AM on 07/17/2012
Bale & Keaton were best Batman. But Adam West as cheese-Batman gets noted, it is a silly take, but fun.
Bale & Keaton were best Batman. But Adam West as cheese-Batman gets noted, it is a silly take, but fun.
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+4
9:08AM on 07/17/2012

Less funnier that's for sure

West makes it look funnier, but I am torn between Bale as batman and Keaton as Wayne. I would choose Keaton as he played both Batman and Wayne equally very well and could of been in Nolan versions. I stand by the original Burton film with Jack Nicholson as my favorite even though Nolan's are very good and Kane's series are classics. Batman has got much darker compared to the series by Kane.
West makes it look funnier, but I am torn between Bale as batman and Keaton as Wayne. I would choose Keaton as he played both Batman and Wayne equally very well and could of been in Nolan versions. I stand by the original Burton film with Jack Nicholson as my favorite even though Nolan's are very good and Kane's series are classics. Batman has got much darker compared to the series by Kane.
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8:29AM on 07/17/2012
Keaton was good for the type of Batman films Burton was making. Same goes for Adam West - he was a great choice for the camp/silly version of Batman that the TV series portrayed - a guy trying desperately to come accross as the voice of reason surrounded by a bunch of gurning maniacs. I actually think Clooney could have been great, but the state of the franchise was not on his side at the time. If they ever do a storyline like The Dark Knight Returns where Bruce is older he'd still be a cool
Keaton was good for the type of Batman films Burton was making. Same goes for Adam West - he was a great choice for the camp/silly version of Batman that the TV series portrayed - a guy trying desperately to come accross as the voice of reason surrounded by a bunch of gurning maniacs. I actually think Clooney could have been great, but the state of the franchise was not on his side at the time. If they ever do a storyline like The Dark Knight Returns where Bruce is older he'd still be a cool choice, though I doubt he'll ever get the chance. Overdone Batvoice aside, Bale's been great though.
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8:06AM on 07/17/2012
Extra Tidbit: Glad to hear Kevin Conroy mentions in the extra tidbit.
As for Batman, to me, it's a tie between Michael Keaton and Christian Bale. Both actors are awesome when they portray Bruce Wayne/Batman with conviction. Val Kilmer is an okay Bruce Wayne/Batman. As for Clooney, he always have this Coolness a la Clark Gable so Clooney is a good Bruce Wayne but pretty much sucks as Batman. All in all, great article!
Extra Tidbit: Glad to hear Kevin Conroy mentions in the extra tidbit.
As for Batman, to me, it's a tie between Michael Keaton and Christian Bale. Both actors are awesome when they portray Bruce Wayne/Batman with conviction. Val Kilmer is an okay Bruce Wayne/Batman. As for Clooney, he always have this Coolness a la Clark Gable so Clooney is a good Bruce Wayne but pretty much sucks as Batman. All in all, great article!
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+14
8:03AM on 07/17/2012
Great article. I'm torn between Bale and Keaton. I think I like Keaton's Wayne better and Bales Batman. I've always loved that scene where Keaton turns on the Joker by the fireplace and gives the great line of "You wanna get nuts...Lets get nuts" I've always thought that Keaton could have pulled off Batman in Nolan's world.
Great article. I'm torn between Bale and Keaton. I think I like Keaton's Wayne better and Bales Batman. I've always loved that scene where Keaton turns on the Joker by the fireplace and gives the great line of "You wanna get nuts...Lets get nuts" I've always thought that Keaton could have pulled off Batman in Nolan's world.
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+8
7:53AM on 07/17/2012
I take a lot of shit for this, but I liked Kilmer the best as both Batman and Bruce Wayne.
I take a lot of shit for this, but I liked Kilmer the best as both Batman and Bruce Wayne.
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8:07AM on 07/17/2012
He's okay in my book :]
He's okay in my book :]
7:51AM on 07/17/2012

C'mon! Adam West Folks!

Adam West is the best Batman! he represents the majority of the batman comics. Sure there are a lot of gritty batman comics, but those are mainly graphic novels... The silliness that was Adam West was just great, and so close to the silliness that was the Batman comics a lot of times. Adam West is by far the most ENTERTAINING of the Batmans... I love Christian Bale in general and he is great as a badass batman, but Adam West just takes the cake.
Adam West is the best Batman! he represents the majority of the batman comics. Sure there are a lot of gritty batman comics, but those are mainly graphic novels... The silliness that was Adam West was just great, and so close to the silliness that was the Batman comics a lot of times. Adam West is by far the most ENTERTAINING of the Batmans... I love Christian Bale in general and he is great as a badass batman, but Adam West just takes the cake.
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+10
6:26AM on 07/17/2012

Bale by rage

I always liked Keaton, but Bale is the only one to inhabit the character physically. Truly Bale also got the most range story wise to play with. Kilmer and Clooney both may have worked out well but are severely crippled by poor scripts and atrocious directing. You can't deny West is perfect for that place and time (that being said I'm glad that time has passed.).
I always liked Keaton, but Bale is the only one to inhabit the character physically. Truly Bale also got the most range story wise to play with. Kilmer and Clooney both may have worked out well but are severely crippled by poor scripts and atrocious directing. You can't deny West is perfect for that place and time (that being said I'm glad that time has passed.).
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-3
5:30AM on 07/17/2012

liked all

in this order keaton,kilmer,bale,clooney(without that bat outfit and hate that film)
in this order keaton,kilmer,bale,clooney(without that bat outfit and hate that film)
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5:30AM on 07/17/2012
It's Christian Bale for me, but I totally understand why a lot of people really enjoy Michael Keaton's performance. I think Keaton really nailed Batman, there was an adequate combination of theatricality and menace that never got too silly (though I must whine about Batman killing people). The Burton films had a version of Bruce Wayne where he was a billionaire recluse, rather than a billionaire playboy. He was socially awkward and shy, always more comfortable in the company of Alfred than
It's Christian Bale for me, but I totally understand why a lot of people really enjoy Michael Keaton's performance. I think Keaton really nailed Batman, there was an adequate combination of theatricality and menace that never got too silly (though I must whine about Batman killing people). The Burton films had a version of Bruce Wayne where he was a billionaire recluse, rather than a billionaire playboy. He was socially awkward and shy, always more comfortable in the company of Alfred than anyone else. It was an interesting direction to go in, but not one that I'm a huge fan of - not a diss to Keaton at all. Christian Bale edges him out for me because he was able to deliver a good Bruce Wayne and a good Batman, when many before him could do either one or none at all. When he was schmoozing with supermodels and acting all arrogant, you knew it was just an act, just a facade for a really, genuinely tortured guy. Bale also never went emo or moped, and you could tell just how dedicated he was to the part. Before Christian Bale, we'd never really seen Batman actually take someone on in brutal hand-to-hand combat. It's odd because one of Batman's biggest skills is that he is a martial artist, but because of the restriction of the suit and other factors previous Batmen never really did kick a lot of butt in a physical sense, while Bale did.I also like Bale's interaction with Batman's allies: Alfred, Lucius and Gordon. Those three are the refuge for whatever humanity Bruce has left, and I think Bale has great chemistry with Michael Caine. I don't think there ever will be a "perfect" Batman actor, but those who take on the mantle are always welcome to try and do it better than their predecessors.
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+21
3:33AM on 07/17/2012
In the countdown to TDKR, I watched Batman (1989) last night, and I have to say Keaton was excellent in the role. In his/Burton's take, Batman is the real persona while Bruce Wayne is the alter ego. As Wayne he's lost with only Alfred, and later Vicky Vale, grounding him in reality. As Batman, he is the child whose parents were murdered, avenging them whenever he dons the cowl. The atmosphere of the film is wonderfully creepy and Danny Elfmanís mind blowing score is just genius.
Wonderful
In the countdown to TDKR, I watched Batman (1989) last night, and I have to say Keaton was excellent in the role. In his/Burton's take, Batman is the real persona while Bruce Wayne is the alter ego. As Wayne he's lost with only Alfred, and later Vicky Vale, grounding him in reality. As Batman, he is the child whose parents were murdered, avenging them whenever he dons the cowl. The atmosphere of the film is wonderfully creepy and Danny Elfmanís mind blowing score is just genius.
Wonderful stuff.
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2:18AM on 07/17/2012

Val Kilmer's my favorite

He was even Bob Kane's favorite (granted he wasn't exactly around for Batman Begins).
He was even Bob Kane's favorite (granted he wasn't exactly around for Batman Begins).
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1:51AM on 07/18/2012
my mom says the same thing. serious
my mom says the same thing. serious
+16
2:00AM on 07/17/2012
Bale and Keaton are equal in my book. I love Bale because I can believe that he can actually kick ass and do half the stuff Batman does. Keaton, though, I feel really had a character and certain charisma that made him crazy, intelligent, and unique, and that in a way is believeable too.
Bale and Keaton are equal in my book. I love Bale because I can believe that he can actually kick ass and do half the stuff Batman does. Keaton, though, I feel really had a character and certain charisma that made him crazy, intelligent, and unique, and that in a way is believeable too.
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+23
1:37AM on 07/17/2012
Someone needs to get all these guys together for some kind of charity function before West kicks the bucket.
Someone needs to get all these guys together for some kind of charity function before West kicks the bucket.
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1:25AM on 07/17/2012

Keaton by a Lot

Bale is a great Bruce Wayne but is awful as Batman. His growl and cleff lip make him anything but intimidating. Feel free to bury me with thumbs down Nolan apologists, but Bale's performance as Batman is the worst thing about this trilogy.
Bale is a great Bruce Wayne but is awful as Batman. His growl and cleff lip make him anything but intimidating. Feel free to bury me with thumbs down Nolan apologists, but Bale's performance as Batman is the worst thing about this trilogy.
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4:23PM on 07/17/2012
Totally agree. Bale's Batman voice is just ridiculous. Plus, Keaton appeared in the two best films, had the best suit, and had by far the best Batmobile.
Totally agree. Bale's Batman voice is just ridiculous. Plus, Keaton appeared in the two best films, had the best suit, and had by far the best Batmobile.
1:11AM on 07/17/2012
Bale and everyone else is wrong
Bale and everyone else is wrong
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