Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Super Duper Batman list

With the DC Extended Film Universe and my growing interest in DC Comics, I've been thinking about Batman. Though only a casual fan of Batman himself, I am big fan of the world around him, his supporting characters, and especially his villains. My Harley Quinn collection will one day need it's own apartment. So it occurred to me that I'm a bigger Batman(as a whole) fan than I realized. So I thought I'd throw in my one and a half cents and rank the Batmans(the character portrayals) that I've seen.

The Good:

1. Kevin Conroy - Batman the Animated Series and countless other video games and animated films. To me, Kevin Conroy IS the Batman. With that voice and presence, he is the perfect Batman. His Bruce Wayne is likable and charming, yet not douchie. Then his Batman is the best mix of dark and angry, but also noble. Conroy doesn't get the praise he deserves as the best Batman simply because he is a voice actor. But his craft is every bit as important.

2. Adam West - Batman the TV series. The first Batman I really got into. Sure the show was silly and over the top, but his performance was just great for the show. So deadpan and dry on an otherwise outrageous and intentionally over-acted show. The 60s Batman show was truly a comic book come to life.

3. Peter Weller - The Dark Knight Returns I & II. Probably not someone most associate with Batman, but the former Robocop nailed the role in the Dark Knight Returns animated films. Films that, in my opinion, are the best non-comic adaption of Batman ever made. Weller's played that bitter and disillusioned Bruce Wayne so well. If you haven't seen these and are even a casual Batman fan, you need to.

4. Michael Keaton - Batman and Batman Returns. To put Keaton on the list, especially high up, is saying a lot for him because I don't like most of Tim Burton's work and can't stand his Batman adaptions. But even in such poor movies, Keaton was great. His Bruce Wayne was someone that you would truly never believe could be a superhero. But as soon as he got in that costume, he was Batman. That duality is a big part of what makes Batman work.

The Fair: 

5. Val Kilmer - Batman Forever. One of the better original Batman movies, though that's not saying too much; I thought Kilmer did a fair job. He was a little bland, but nothing stood out about him as being too bad. He was just kinda there.

6. George Clooney - Batman and Robin. Ok, yeah, Batman and Robin was bad. And yeah, Clooney was bad in it. But I really don't fault him for that. He was just doing what he could with what he had. With a good script and a better director, I think Clooney would have been a fine Batman. He had the potential to be a great Batman.

The Bad:

7. Christian Bale - The Dark Knight Trilogy. Hand's down the worst Batman ever put on screen. From his shifty unlikable Bruce Wayne to the ridiculous Batman voice he used to the weird teen girl duck lips he had on in every scene with the mask, Bale just failed on every level. Luckily, the movies were good enough to make up for his lack of...well, everything. Really, it was Heath Ledger that made that series great. Gary Oldman didn't hurt either. But as I've said, Nolan's Batman movies are good movies, but not good Batman movies.

The Undecided:

8. Ben Affleck - Definitely not a popular choice, but one I am starting to understand. I think Ben has the potential to be the best live Batman yet; if he plays it right. As long as they go the route of the bitter Dark Knight Returns style Batman, I think it will work very well.

After having seen Batman v Superman, opening day at 8:30 in the morning, I can now honestly say that Affleck is the finest live action Batman we have ever seen. He was everything I wanted in a Batman and the truest to the comics yet. And since I probably won't do a full review of the film, I just wanted to say that I thought it was great. The best Batman movie yet.

1 comment:

  1. Cool post Rob. I thought it was pretty unbelievable was fast people were to criticize the choice of Afleck - just keep it serious and I think this could be something very good. Sure IMO Daredevil wasn't all that great, but the guy's done some good work.