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View Poll Results: Who was the better Batman / Bruce Wayne, and why?
Christian Bale (Batman Begins and The Dark Knight) 265 61.20%
Michael Keaton (B89 and Batman Returns) 168 38.80%
Voters: 433. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-13-2012, 03:49 PM   #176
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Default Re: Christian Bale v.s. Michael Keaton - Part 2

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Not only does Bale give a better take on Bruce Wayne/Batman, but there isn't a single role in Keaton's entire career that was on par with Bale's performance in those films.
Not true. Christians a terrific actor who takes his roles seriously, but so is Michael. He has an amazing range as an actor, and was highly praised and awarded for his role in the "Clean and Sober". He can gave a chilling performance as a psycho (Pacific Heights, Desperate Measures), touching performance as an addict and alcoholic struggling with life (Clean and Sober), hilarious performance (Beetlejuice, Multiplicity), and can play a Gothic character at the same time

I think we as Batfans are privileged to have such two great actors to portray different version of Batman.

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Old 09-13-2012, 06:46 PM   #177
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Default Re: Christian Bale v.s. Michael Keaton - Part 2

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I think we as Batfans are privileged to have such two great actors to portray different version of Batman.
The casting of these two main men was dead on.

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Old 09-14-2012, 12:36 AM   #178
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Not only does Bale give a better take on Bruce Wayne/Batman, but there isn't a single role in Keaton's entire career that was on par with Bale's performance in those films.
This is the kind of absolute and extreme one-sidedness that proves you're one of the many "willfully ignorant" out there.

You say Keaton's not given a single performance as good as Bale was in Batman you say? For me, I think Christian Bale has shined in other roles moreso than his portrayal of Batman. I find his Bruce Wayne and Batman a bit "boring" and flat. He was much more interesting (in my opinion) to watch in American Psycho, for example.

And you say Keaton's never outshone Bale's Batman in any of his roles? I don't recall reading a bad performance review regarding Keaton in the films he has been in, and he's always generally praised by critics and moviegoers. He won the Film Critics Award in '88 for his work in Clean & Sober and Beetlejuice. Christian Bale's never been up for one of those as far as I know.

So there you go. Plenty for you to chew on, in the hopes that you might one day come to your senses and amend your utterly silly statement above.

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Old 09-14-2012, 01:03 PM   #179
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Default Re: Christian Bale v.s. Michael Keaton - Part 2

Michael Keaton is my favorite Batman.

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Old 09-14-2012, 01:04 PM   #180
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Default Re: Christian Bale v.s. Michael Keaton - Part 2

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Not only does Bale give a better take on Bruce Wayne/Batman, but there isn't a single role in Keaton's entire career that was on par with Bale's performance in those films.
Agreed.

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Old 09-14-2012, 01:26 PM   #181
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Default Re: Christian Bale v.s. Michael Keaton - Part 2

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For me, I think Christian Bale has shined in other roles moreso than his portrayal of Batman.
Exactly how I feel.

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Old 09-14-2012, 03:35 PM   #182
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Default Re: Christian Bale v.s. Michael Keaton - Part 2

Bale's one of my favourite working actors so I'm kind of surprised at how little I liked his Bruce Wayne/Batman performances. He was all over the place and actually quite funny in the worst possible way.

Never mind. I've always got American Psycho, The Machinist and Metroland...

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Old 09-26-2012, 08:38 AM   #183
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Default Re: Christian Bale v.s. Michael Keaton - Part 2

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Not only does Bale give a better take on Bruce Wayne/Batman, but there isn't a single role in Keaton's entire career that was on par with Bale's performance in those films.
this is nonsense for me

Bale's a good actor, but about as over-rated an actor as there is out there. I think his willingness to alter his body has warped peoples views slightly when it comes to his actual acting ability.

For starters I think Keaton has shown a better range. You've had the hero, the psycho, the funny guy. As much as I feel Bale is slightly over-rated I feel Keaton is under-rated. He was down right frightening in Pacific Heights for example.

But as far as batman goes (this is what its all about ofcourse) give me Keaton any day. I can't listen to Bale's batman without clenching my fists due to the discomfort of it. Keaton just has a stronger presence as Batman, for me anyway. Its a shame he never had a movie that allowed him to flesh out Bruce Wayne's character the way Bale did (brilliantly too might I add)

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Old 09-26-2012, 08:48 AM   #184
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Default Re: Christian Bale v.s. Michael Keaton - Part 2

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this is nonsense for me

Bale's a good actor, but about as over-rated an actor as there is out there. I think his willingness to alter his body has warped peoples views slightly when it comes to his actual acting ability.

For starters I think Keaton has shown a better range. You've had the hero, the psycho, the funny guy. As much as I feel Bale is slightly over-rated I feel Keaton is under-rated. He was down right frightening in Pacific Heights for example.

But as far as batman goes (this is what its all about ofcourse) give me Keaton any day. I can't listen to Bale's batman without clenching my fists due to the discomfort of it. Keaton just has a stronger presence as Batman, for me anyway. Its a shame he never had a movie that allowed him to flesh out Bruce Wayne's character the way Bale did (brilliantly too might I add)
I think they're both good actors, but overall I think Bale is the better one. And I don't say that simply because I'm duped by his jedi-mind-trick-weight-losses like you suggest.

I tend to judge the ability of an actor by how much I'm enthralled by their performance in any particular movie or TV show. Of course, that has a lot to do with the script and the production itself, but ultimately it's up to the actor to sell us the character he's in. Can we forget - for 1hr, 2hrs, whatever - that it's an A-list actor in front of us and actually believe in the character?

Bale does that for me. Whether it's Patrick Bateman in American Psycho, Dicky Eklund in the The Fighter, Trevor Reznick in The Machinist, or Bruce Wayne in any of Nolan's Batman films, I pretty much forgot he was Christian Bale. He's not perfect of course, and on a rare occasion he may phone in his performance (it felt a bit like than in Terminator Salvation), but 90% of the time he shows impressive dedication to the role. A lot of actors don't go to those lengths and still take home the money, so I have respect for his approach to his craft.

I love Keaton as an actor too, but asides from Beetlejuice (where he totally lost himself in the role) he hasn't blown me away in anything else he's starred in. I thought his Batman was impressive, but Burton wrote Batman/Wayne as much more brooding and serious than Nolan's version, and IMO Keaton had less to do in terms of acting. I didn't get the same sense of angst or despair from his Bruce Wayne as I did from Bale's, for example when Rachel died or Alfred and him argue it out on the stairs.

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Old 09-26-2012, 11:22 AM   #185
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Default Re: Christian Bale v.s. Michael Keaton - Part 2

I loved Keaton's portrayal. He was The Haunted Knight. He was brooding but avoided slipping into self-pity. And he had a real presence in the suit. Bale's Wayne was a little too mopey, teary-eyed for my tastes. Indeed, he often seemed like he was on the verge of tears.

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Old 09-26-2012, 11:25 AM   #186
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Default Re: Christian Bale v.s. Michael Keaton - Part 2

More or less Burton played his Bats as kind of a supernatural entity almost. The crooks getting seriously freaked out when they shoot him and he survives or is gone, like a horror movie monster. The first instance in the 1989 where they're on the roof talking about him like kids telling ghost stories.

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Old 09-26-2012, 12:00 PM   #187
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Default Re: Christian Bale v.s. Michael Keaton - Part 2

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More or less Burton played his Bats as kind of a supernatural entity almost. The crooks getting seriously freaked out when they shoot him and he survives or is gone, like a horror movie monster. The first instance in the 1989 where they're on the roof talking about him like kids telling ghost stories.
Exactly. In the script hes described and referred to as the shape, spectre, phantom. There are direct and confirmed influences and references to 1930s Dracula and Phantom of the Opera in his portrayal, and I did a bit of research on that (http://www.gothamalleys.blogspot.com...in-movies.html)
The visual portrayal, using dark shadows, steam and streak of light on the eyes to appear as if theyre glowing, as well as the use of grand piano and hammond organs in the score reinforces that ghostly presence

Thats whay Im not really a fan of putting those two (Bale, Keaton) into competition since both went for radically different portrayals, one is a trained ninja/James Bond type, the other is a Phantom of the Opera. Two great takes and terrific performances, and even tho theyre of very different genre, still share the core and quintessential characteristics of the dark version of the Batman character (http://gothamalleys.blogspot.com/201...mmon-core.html)

And theyre both mututally respectful and fans of each other portrayals (http://gothamalleys.blogspot.com/201...hers-work.html)

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Old 09-26-2012, 03:58 PM   #188
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Default Re: Christian Bale v.s. Michael Keaton - Part 2

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Bale's one of my favourite working actors so I'm kind of surprised at how little I liked his Bruce Wayne/Batman performances. He was all over the place and actually quite funny in the worst possible way.

Never mind. I've always got American Psycho, The Machinist and Metroland...
How bout a little love for Harsh Times, my personal fav from him

As far as the comparisons go, while I do feel they're two completely different takes for two wildly different universes, I still say Keaton I prefer in the suit and Bale as Bruce.

The thing about delving so deep into Wayne's psyche and background is that it indirectly takes away some of the inherent darkness of the character. It makes him more sympathetic of course, and we feel more drawn to him, but at the same time, that mysteriousness is compromised. Instead of viewing it as "The Batman", it's more Bruce Wayne in costume, if you will.

Keaton's Batman, to me, is the only onscreen incarnation that has that mysterious, iconic, almost regal presence anytime he shows up on film that I feel is essential to the character. His eyes are just piercing, and the cowl was splendid. He barely talks and when he does, it's a whisper (which, as sacrilegious as it may sound, is a whisper I prefer even over Conroy's voice.)

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Exactly. In the script hes described and referred to as the shape, spectre, phantom. There are direct and confirmed influences and references to 1930s Dracula and Phantom of the Opera in his portrayal, and I did a bit of research on that (http://www.gothamalleys.blogspot.com...in-movies.html)
The visual portrayal, using dark shadows, steam and streak of light on the eyes to appear as if theyre glowing, as well as the use of grand piano and hammond organs in the score reinforces that ghostly presence.
Precisely, and I suppose it's more of a preference. For me, I prefer my Batman to be that ghost.

Keaton appears, dispatches the issue and disappears with barely a sound. The intimidation Nolan & Bale try to portray in their version through brute force and physicality, Keaton exemplified through sheer presence. The only time I felt that same sort of mystical dynamic at play with Bale is when he returns in TDKR in that chase scene. See, Nolan wants you to view his Batman as a myth, an urban legend, a wraith, that "terrible thought" Ras Al Ghul spoke about. Well, one look at Keaton in that opening scene from B89 said all that without saying a word.

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Old 09-26-2012, 07:35 PM   #189
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Default Re: Christian Bale v.s. Michael Keaton - Part 2

Batman ain't supposed to be a mystery to the audience. Just to the characters in his universe. Bruce Wayne is like one of the most fascinating characters ever and Nolan tapped into that vein brilliantly. Burton barely touched on what makes Bruce Wayne such a great complex character.

All this about Keaton's Batman being so terrifying. Yeah well when you go around blowing people up and shoving bombs down their pants then it's easy to make yourself scary. He was The Punisher in a Batman costume.

As for Keaton's Bat being a supernatural entity, that is funny when you see him get put down by Joker's men half way thru the movie and they all suss out that he's wearing body armor and just a guy in a costume. Very supernatural.

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Old 09-26-2012, 07:48 PM   #190
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Default Re: Christian Bale v.s. Michael Keaton - Part 2

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Batman ain't supposed to be a mystery to the audience. Just to the characters in his universe. Bruce Wayne is like one of the most fascinating characters ever and Nolan tapped into that vein brilliantly. Burton barely touched on what makes Bruce Wayne such a great complex character.

All this about Keaton's Batman being so terrifying. Yeah well when you go around blowing people up and shoving bombs down their pants then it's easy to make yourself scary. He was The Punisher in a Batman costume.

As for Keaton's Bat being a supernatural entity, that is funny when you see him get put down by Joker's men half way thru the movie and they all suss out that he's wearing body armor and just a guy in a costume. Very supernatural.
Batman is open to various interpretations. Some stories have written him in that manner as this mysterious figure. It makes for better storytelling personally.

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Old 09-26-2012, 07:52 PM   #191
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Default Re: Christian Bale v.s. Michael Keaton - Part 2

For me Keaton was a better Batman
Bale was a better Bruce
Bale had the better movies

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Old 09-26-2012, 07:53 PM   #192
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Default Re: Christian Bale v.s. Michael Keaton - Part 2

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Batman is open to various interpretations.
Yup I know. Batman and Robin is one, too. Didn't much care for that one either.

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Some stories have written him in that manner as this mysterious figure. It makes for better storytelling personally.
I hope the future directors of the next Batman movies don't feel that way. BTAS didn't thankfully. Some of their best episodes were all about delving into Bruce. That one's a doozie. MOTP is one big Bruce Wayne story.

Yeah give me that approach to Batman any day.

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Old 09-26-2012, 09:46 PM   #193
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Default Re: Christian Bale v.s. Michael Keaton - Part 2

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Batman ain't supposed to be a mystery to the audience. Just to the characters in his universe. Bruce Wayne is like one of the most fascinating characters ever and Nolan tapped into that vein brilliantly. Burton barely touched on what makes Bruce Wayne such a great complex character.
To quote Batman himself, he can be "whatever they need me to be."

Personally, showing the origin of Batman, in detail, after 4 films, was what they needed to do. But going forward, I'd like it to go back to how Burton treated the character. The less we saw of Bruce and what made him tick, the more mythical and mysterious he appeared when he did show up in costume. That's just me, you may like it a different way.

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All this about Keaton's Batman being so terrifying. Yeah well when you go around blowing people up and shoving bombs down their pants then it's easy to make yourself scary. He was The Punisher in a Batman costume.
It's not about him killing people, it's about his presence.

Most people cite the first Batman scene in BB as the best of the whole trilogy. Why? Because he's more of a ghost, a mystery, a supernatural element, "The Batman" in that scene than almost any other time in Nolan's whole series.

Keaton's version pretty much operated like that the whole time in B89. He didn't kill anybody in that first scene, but the look in his eyes when he's dragging that thug by the ankle towards him is more frightening than almost anything Bale did. Once again, that's just me and my preference.

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As for Keaton's Bat being a supernatural entity, that is funny when you see him get put down by Joker's men half way thru the movie and they all suss out that he's wearing body armor and just a guy in a costume. Very supernatural.
Yeah, the point is, until then, they didn't know...

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Old 09-26-2012, 10:33 PM   #194
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Default Re: Christian Bale v.s. Michael Keaton - Part 2

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Old 09-26-2012, 10:36 PM   #195
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Default Re: Christian Bale v.s. Michael Keaton - Part 2

The fact of the matter is, even though he's probably the most popular good guy in existence aside from Spider-Man, you should be afraid of him. Other heroes are freaked out by him because of his somewhat eerie demeanor and standoffish nature.

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Old 09-27-2012, 12:16 AM   #196
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Default Re: Christian Bale v.s. Michael Keaton - Part 2

I've never seen other heroes freaked out by Batman. They see him as grim and moody, but not freaky. He's a member of the Justice League. He's teamed with Superman many times. He runs around with a partner who wears a yellow cape and red breasted costume and calls himself Robin. The criminals are the only ones who should and do fear him.

Fudgie made a valid point about Keaton's Batman. His mythical status, such as it was for the short time it existed, was eradicated after that alley scene in Batman '89 with Joker's men. In Batman Returns he didn't have one scene where he appeared and disappeared, or used the shadows. He would walk around Gotham's streets beating up the Penguin's gang and killing a few of them, too.

Bale's Batman did more stealth and shadowy stuff in Begins alone than Keaton did in his two movies combined. It was toned down in TDK, but he still did it like in the bank vault, the roof scene with Gordon and Dent etc. It made a brief return in TDKR in the tunnels scene with Bane's men. Most of all you felt the fear criminals had for him in Gotham in Begins and TDK. Not just the street criminals but the corrupt, too, like Flass. The only time you see it with Keaton's Batman is in Batman '89 with the muggers at the start. The underworld never shows any concern about him. Joker only wants him because he dropped him in the chemicals. Nobody showed any fear of him or his alleged reputation in Returns.

I do agree that the fact that he does murder people is an easy trait to use to make someone more fearsome. Especially this "look" in his eye some people have mentioned. The eyes of a killer. Well that's because he was a killer. But then anyone can kill so it's not very impressive, IMO.

For all it's faults, Batman Forever did delve into Bruce Wayne and his mind more than Burton's movies did with all of that stuff about his nightmares about his parents death, their funeral, and falling into the cave and seeing the bat. His scenes with Dick and how he related his pain to his was also further insight into Bruce's psyche and what makes him tick. I think Schumacher was trying to cover some of the ground Burton neglected to do in his movies.

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Old 09-27-2012, 12:47 AM   #197
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Default Re: Christian Bale v.s. Michael Keaton - Part 2

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Fudgie made a valid point about Keaton's Batman. His mythical status, such as it was for the short time it existed, was eradicated after that alley scene in Batman '89 with Joker's men. In Batman Returns he didn't have one scene where he appeared and disappeared, or used the shadows. He would walk around Gotham's streets beating up the Penguin's gang and killing a few of them, too.

The only time you see it with Keaton's Batman is in Batman '89 with the muggers at the start. The underworld never shows any concern about him. Joker only wants him because he dropped him in the chemicals. Nobody showed any fear of him or his alleged reputation in Returns.
I noticed this trend too. Batman doesn't really rely on any of that fear in Returns - he is very reactive and forceful (almost Punisher-like, albeit with less killing). I guess this is his reaction after 'coming out' to Gotham at the end of '89, by giving the police the signal.

I'm trying to complete trend of Burton's first two films with my fan-fic third Burton script - seeing him as inevitably instilling no fear and having to resort to using Jonathan Crane's toxin. Hoping to end it with the fear returning.

I still like all the versions though, but Bale's Batman is a bit more accurate. His interrogation scenes are fantastic. The reason he sometimes doesn't have the mystique of Keaton is because the stories follow him as a character a bit more closely. Keaton was this strange, quiet figure.

I'm really glad we have two great distinctive versions.

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Old 09-27-2012, 01:19 AM   #198
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Default Re: Christian Bale v.s. Michael Keaton - Part 2

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I noticed this trend too. Batman doesn't really rely on any of that fear in Returns - he is very reactive and forceful (almost Punisher-like, albeit with less killing). I guess this is his reaction after 'coming out' to Gotham at the end of '89, by giving the police the signal.
Good theory, but in all honesty apart from the muggers scene and the Axis Chemicals scene he is not a shadowy stealthy kind of Batman. He bursts in thru the skylight into the museum with all the subtly of a bull in a china shop. He simply used the element of surprise there to snatch Vicki to safety. He was only there because he was reacting to the message he got about Vicki meeting him in the museum.

He goes running through the streets with Vicki in full view of many Gothamites when his Batmobile is forced to stop during the chase with Joker's men. His remaining scenes have him drive his Batmobile into Axis to blow it up, and then descend on Gotham in his Batwing to remove the deadly gas balloons and shoot at Joker and his men. The church scene has no shadowy stealth Batman either. He hobbles up the stairway, gets pummeled by one of Joker's men, and then Vicki has to distract Joker so Batman can sneak upon him. In fairness to him he was injured from the Batwing crash but you get my point. All of this was in reaction to Joker's public dare to come and meet him at midnight at the parade.

I love Keaton's Batman but I think these mythical supernatural descriptions of him are blown out of proportion a bit. There really wasn't that much of it in Batman '89, and none at all in Returns.

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Old 09-27-2012, 01:45 AM   #199
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Default Re: Christian Bale v.s. Michael Keaton - Part 2

i prefer michael keatons batman, he was quiet, menacing and had great presence, not to mention a great bat voice...on the other hand i like bales bruce wayne better, he had the look, the physique and acted a good playboy facade, he had great pathos as well, ill have to give the edge to mike overall, thats the batman of my childhood right there

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Old 09-27-2012, 01:47 AM   #200
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Originally Posted by relentless1 View Post
i prefer michael keatons batman, he was quiet, menacing and had great presence, not to mention a great bat voice...on the other hand i like bales bruce wayne better, he had the look, the physique and acted a good playboy facade, he had great pathos as well, ill have to give the edge to mike overall, thats the batman of my childhood right there
http://forums.superherohype.com/show...&postcount=157

A bit of a change of heart from a page ago

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