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Old 03-24-2013, 05:52 PM   #544
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Default Re: am I the only one who DIDN'T think Nicholson nailed joker??

Originally Posted by The Joker View Post

1. There's no natural progression to this revelation in the story. Good twists in movies have hints peppered throughout the movie subtle enough to fly under the radar. The first time it's hinted is when Bruce recognizes the dance with the devil line in Vicki's apartment, then 2 minutes later we have him flashbacking to his parents' death and Jack Napier being the killer. All of this in the last half hour of the movie.

I thought there was personally. Let me try to persuade you or atleast show you where I'm coming from. Maybe I'm looking too far into it, but hear me out. Tell me what you think man. I've put some time in this. I wish I had a blog to express it.

Pic 1

"You're an A1 nutboy and Grissom knows it." (Jack's eyes start twitching like a lunatic after being called crazy) - to - "You know, this guy I know, Jack . . .bad wiring I guess." (The Joker's eyes start twitching like a lunatic after being called crazy)

Pic 2

"That's the same look on his face, the face in front of city hall." (Bruce looking at disbelief and disgust as the mafia and cops are mowed down by Joker's men) - to - "He watched the whole thing happen in front of him, poor kid. I wonder what something like this does to someone."

Pic 3

"Here's the file you requested" (On Jack Napier) - to - "Do you have the file on my parents?"

Pic 4

Young Jack Napier mug shot on the left, Present Jack Napier mug shot on right - to - Bruce Wayne covering up the past mug shot being preoccupied with the Joker's files and history.

Pic 5

Vicki follows Bruce to the street his parents were killed on. Bruce is visiting the site on the anniversary of their death, placing roses where they died (this is right before the City Hall shoot out by the way) - to - Flashback of Bruce watching in horror as his parents are gunned down on the very same street

Pic 6

"Have you ever danced with the Devil by the pale moon light" - Joker sadistically smiling and holding a gun to Bruce Wayne - to - "Have you ever danced with the Devil by the pale moon light" - Napier sadistically smiling and holding a gun to young Bruce Wayne

Pic 7

First confrontation, Batman vs. Jack Napier - to - Final confrontation, "You idiot, you dropped me into that vat of chemicals! YOU MADE ME! Remember?"

I'd say some of those are subtle enough to fly under the radar and still show that, throughout the film that it was their intent. Especially with that police file that has a young Jack Napier mug shot. Vicki's apartment is where it all culminates. Where Bruce and the Joker meet. Before that, we saw Batman and Napier and Batman and Joker interacting. It was the final piece before we find out that Bruce Wayne and Jack Napier met before . . . .

This has been discussed before also, but not on boards I don't think. I felt just like Siskel on the matter.

Back in 1989, Siskel and Ebert had the same discussion. Siskel bought the character relationships with Batman between Joker and Vicki while Ebert didn't.


"She knew. I think there are indications throughout the picture that these people know who they are in other lives, in other alteregos in situations. It's very true between the Batman and Jack Napier in the beginning of the film when they give each other knowing looks, they're setting up a battle for the future."

Originally Posted by The Joker View Post
2. What purpose did it serve Joker or Batman or the story in dropping this in at the last minute? Neither character benefited from this revelation. It didn't add any dimension or layers to them or the story.

It made it more personal. Prior to that, Batman and the Joker were duking it out as they had in the comics. Batman dropped him in the vat of chemicals and Joker emerged. Rising to the top of the criminal underworld and poisoning the city with his demented philosophy about death and arts. Batman started with low level thugs and robberies, works his way up to the mob after noticing Gordon's abrupt disappearance at his social function, goes after Jack Napier, and then, of course the Joker.

After the reveal though, it's not just about apprehending and stopping the Joker, the psychotic madman that's threatening innocent civilians. It's also about avenging his parents against the man who made him what he is now. It adds a symbolic dynamic. The Joker created Batman and Batman created the Joker. They're both psychotic and similar in some ways (even though Batman wouldn't admit to it), but how they deal with it is completely different. The Joker acts out in public, publicly threatens the well being of the city. He murders and destroys. He wants to disfigure Gotham because of his own insecurities.

Batman, who was created out of the trauma of losing his parents and childhood, does the exact opposite. He acts out by fighting crime, the very thing that created him. From petty goons to criminal masterminds such as the Joker, he feels compelled to do it as if it's his job, which all plays into his psychosis. "Sometimes, I don't even know how to feel about this, it's just something I have to do" . . . Why, "Because no one else can".

While there are similarities like taking on extreme, symbolic alter egos (a giant evil Bat and psychotic "fun" clown), or other things "Nice place you got here, lots of space", "Nice place ya got here lots of space", the two are polar opposites. The antithesis of each other.

It also shed some light on why Bruce Wayne does what he does (the mystery slowly unfolds as Vicki discovers more and more about Bruce Wayne, which leads to Batman). Without the big reveal, how do we, as the audience, know what motivated Bruce? Why would he just have a random flashback of the death of his parents if the Joker didn't trigger it for him in the story?

Originally Posted by The Joker View Post
3. It was done to make it personal between Batman and the Joker. Unnecessary. Batman already dropped Joker into the chemicals. It's already personal between them. Joker had murdered loads of Gotham citizens. He has kidnapped Bruce's girlfriend. Batman had plenty of reasons to beat the hell out of him without the whole "I'm going to kill you. You killed my parents. I made you but you made me first" BS. Dropping it in at the last quarter that Joker also created Batman reeked of last minute plot contrivance, which it WAS:

Personal for the Joker. He's clearly upset about what Batman had done to him.

For Batman? It's another job for him. What did the Joker to do him personally other than terrorizing Vicki Vale? Before the reveal, before the Joker, Batman was going after criminals, from Grissom to the Napier . When the Joker emerged as the main threat against the city, he was looking to take him down, REGARDLESS if he killed his parents or not. Batman is clearly not driven by revenge in the film until the third act. Prior to discovering what happened, he was dealing with other criminals much like Batman in the comics does. The two guys on the roof? He immobilizes and threatens them, doesn't kill. All the men at Axis chemicals? Carefully and strategically subdued. He even leaves one hanging for the police from his grapple gun. Joker's men who follow him after the museum? None of them killed.

Once he discovers that Joker is the same man who killed his parents though, the gloves are off, the gauntlets are thrown and it's personal. Just one more reason to stop this mad man. He's been thwarting the Joker's plans prior to the twist. Cracking his chemical code, giving it to the police, slowly becoming an ally of the city, much to the Joker's dismay. But no more games. He zeroes in on Axis Chemicals, blows it to hell and pissed when the Joker manages to get away.

In the final act, it's not like he just mows the Joker down. He stops the Joker's smylex holocaust first to protect the crowd/city, then goes in for him. The rest leads to their final confrontation.

Yeah, he has other reasons to beat the snot out of the Joker but with the city now safe (no more chemicals, no more threats), but this is personal for him. This is the man who killed his parents, took away his life, made him who he is. It's no different from Begins or other comic stories where Bruce finds out who the murder was and goes off seeking revenge.

The Joker on the other hand, is clearly intimidated by Batman, walking back from him. He shrugs off Batman's accusations and proclaims "how childish can you get", and is looking for a way out.

I know all about the rewrites which is all stated in the Batman Blu Ray documentary (from Sam Hamm himself even). It was a rewrite, it was a change. But that doesn't make it bad, in my opinion. What was the original resolution in Sam Hamm's original draft? I bet it wasn't as good as this one.

When this is brought up, I don't think it's ever about "not fitting the film". I think it does work in the film. The film is operatic, even the Cathedral at the end practically screams Phantom of the Opera. I think the criticism goes back to the fidelity to the comics. Back in 1989, people didn't know what to expect, and fans knew that Joker didn't kill Batman's parents. So of course they wouldn't agree with it and question it. Same with Vicki. "OH MY GOD, THEY LET HER IN THE BATCAVE, SHE KNOWS! That doesn't happen! Joker killed Batman's parents? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO."

For the actual film, I think it's fine. For the record. This isn't me stating that I think Batman '89 Batman/Joker relationship is superior, or that I think "my" version of Batman had Joker killing his parents. That's not what I'm saying. I much prefer the popular canon where it's a nameless thug, hidden in an alley or Joe Chill. I'm just saying, for what it is, as it's own interpretation, I dig it and understand it. I can see what Burton was going for.

Back in 1989, I went in without prior knowledge. There wasn't even the slightest hint that it was going to happen. Then when it hit, and we saw that smiling Napier, I was shocked. I didn't know what to think. Then I went back and watched it again (I've seen this film so many times) and saw all those little things I wasn't looking for or paying attention to.

Different strokes for different folks, but for me, I bought it. I thought it was a clever little way of changing it up. It's probably something we'll never see again. Yeah, I prefer the Batman and Joker relationship in Dark Knight (though I still think Keaton is a better Batman), but that doesn't keep me from not seeing the brilliance in the first Batman film. It's one of my favorites, right up there with Dark Knight (which is my #1).

Last edited by milost; 03-24-2013 at 06:08 PM.
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