More influential movie: Batman (1989) vs The Dark Knight (2008)

Discussion in 'Misc. Comics Films' started by LvtLeeTDK, Sep 23, 2020.

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More influential movie:

  1. Batman (1989)

    11 vote(s)
    44.0%
  2. The Dark Knight (2008)

    14 vote(s)
    56.0%
  1. LvtLeeTDK Fullmetal Alchemist

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    It's been months since I last visited this forum. And after a whole night reading through the interesting vs thread about the movies that heavily influenced CBM, I just can't help wondering: between Batman 1989 and TDK 2008, which movie was more influential?

    I want to know which movie was purely more influential, not which movie was better. I wasn't even born when Batman came out, and I only watched The Dark Knight like 4 years after it release.

    Based on things that I've read so far on this forum, Batman seems to be quite more influential than TDK, which was a hit purely due to its quality, not its influence like Black Panther for instance.

    Ps: How does Batman Begins compare to those two?
     
    #1 LvtLeeTDK, Sep 23, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020
  2. Filmfreak Registered

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    Batman Begins is by far the most influential of the Batman movies. Not only is the film that started the dark, realistic, triple-g (gritty, grim, grounded) approach that later movies tried to mimic, for the most part unsuccessfully, but it was basically the one that introduced the term "reboot" to modern cinema. So even though it's kind of responsible for some of the worst trends in Hollywood right now, similarly to the MCU and the shared universe madness, its imprint is also apparent in many successful reboot attempts like Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Casino Royale and X-Men First Class.

    The enormous success of the The Dark Knight certainly made most of these possible, but Begins started this all. Special mention to the original X-Men film back in 2000, that certainly pushed for this specific approach. Batman '89 is still amongst the top influences in the genre, but I'm not sure its impact has been as apparent in other movies in comparison.
     
  3. Bruce Wayne Only lonely man-beast in town

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    It's '89.
     
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  4. Mandon Knight This means something to those who believe....

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    Both have their merits for what they achieved in the genre but TDK I think just, as it was Oscar-winning and gave the genre a level of being 'taken seriously' outside of the expected fan base and was seen as a great film in it's own right, not just in it's set genre.
     
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  5. Brother Jack The Penitent Man

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    Batman Begins is more influential than both.
     
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  6. Mandon Knight This means something to those who believe....

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    Agreed.
     
  7. Frodo Registered

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    It depends on what one means be "influential" and in what way the Batman films are "influential".

    If we're talking about the entertainment industry in general, and the Batman character specifically, Batman 89 is the most influential of the Batman films in that it established Batman as the Dark Knight in the GA minds, it established the dark and serious tone of Batman films going forward including BB, TDK, BvS, and Joker, it caused studios to begin exploiting more superhero properties, it further cemented the shift towards more Summer blockbuster films with merchandising to boot, etc..

    I wouldn't go as far as to say BB started the "reboot" trend. Films like Casino Royale were already in production around the same time BB was. It was a trend already beginning, but BB certainly showed that you could reboot a property and it could be a huge success.

    BB was a milestone for the Batman franchise, and may be the best Batman film, but it wasn't as influential as Batman 89 or TDK. What BB did show is that there was still juice in the Batman franchise after B&R.

    TDK was influential in the sense that it inspired several screen writers to take certain plot points from the film and incorporate them into their films.

    It was also the film that shook the Oscars and have forced them to expand their category which ultimately led to Black Panther making it in the best picture category.

    That's in addition to it be part of the billion dollar club.

    Between B89 and TDK in terms of which of the two films was more "influential" it gets tough when you look at with the perspective of history as opposed to how one may feel as a fan.

    I would actually give the edge to B89 , just because that created the ground that TDK, and several cbm's and blockbusters in general, flourished in.

    Without B89, there is no BB or TDK, in a broad sense.

    That being said, TDK has been more influential into shaping what the superhero film genre has been since 2008 , so its influenced a generation of cbm in that sense.
     
  8. elgaz Registered

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    I would say TDK is more influential.

    Batman 1989 was fantastic and probably the first really successful big screen superhero movie since Superman 1978, not to mention the first big screen movie outing for Batman. But it was also a Tim Burton movie - thus highly stylised, quirky, dark & gothic, and existing very much within its own universe. It didn't necessarily use a formula that other superhero movies could repeat, which to some extent limited how influential it could be.

    TDK imo took the successful 'real world' formula of Batman Begin (no super powered beings, and a more 'realistic' believable approach to how Batman evolved and got his gadgets etc) and amplified everything. Even next to Batman Begins, the city of Gotham in TDK looked very much like a real world city. In some ways, it's a crime film with a superhero in it - rather than superhero film with crime. Combined with the usual fantastic direction from Nolan, the impressive cast (some of whom were serious actors whom you might not have seen in superhero fare before that point), the performance from Ledger, the amazing score, and all the rest, I think its influence - if anything - has been underestimated.

    A lot of people who would have written off superhero films and comic-derived films as just 'flicks for kids' suddenly sat up and took notice after TDK came out. I recall my wife watching it with me (she's purely a rom-com girl) and some of her female friends even went to the cinema to see it, despite never being into those kinds of films.
     
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  9. LvtLeeTDK Fullmetal Alchemist

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    Lmao seriously surprised by the answers "Batman Begins". I thought in Nolan's trilogy, it's the most underrated film and often gets overlooked.

    I think we should take popularity in to accounts, too. I bet that Batman 89 and TDK are the most well-known Batman movies, while Batman Begins certainly falls behind in terms of popularity, even when being compared to TDKR or Batman Returns, etc.
     
    #9 LvtLeeTDK, Sep 23, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020
  10. metaphysician Not a Side-Kick

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    Honestly, I'd say the most important measure, and the reason Dark Knight takes this, is the movie's influence *outside* the comic genre. Batman 89 was big, yes, but I would argue it didn't really have a big influence outside the Batman franchise. In terms of movies in general, its influences are just a continuation of the Burton influences, which were already well established. There weren't that many movies, even superhero movies, that tried to "Be Batman", essentially.

    Dark Knight, by contrast, has a number of major influences that go beyond the Batman franchise or even the superhero genre. How many movies were described as "trying to be The Dark Knight", or had villains that were "trying to be the Heath Ledger Joker"? James Bond is not a comic book movie, and yet Skyfall pretty much did its best to rip off Dark Knight wholesale. What's more, the movie was a massive success for Nolan, and almost certainly was responsible for him getting both the attention and budget to make pretty much everything since. Would Inception or Dunkirk or Tenet exist if not for Dark Knight? Its very likely they wouldn't, at least not in the form they do.
     
  11. Fincher Coming Undone

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    I think the reason The Matrix was able to happen with clothing that traditionally amounted to fetishwear was Batman Returns/Batman Forever, which in turn followed from the costuming in Batman '89. So the entire trend of characters in action wearing black latex and leather (Underworld, Resident Evil, etc.) can be traced back to Batman '89. I also imagine the movie's success had something to do with the moodiness of the '90s, although that's harder to calculate because the alternative movement in music certainly had a big influence.

    As to which was more influential, though, I'm not prepared to say.
     
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  12. Filmfreak Registered

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    It could be that Burton's Batman played a part in the black-leather-outfit action movies but Blade is the more apparent influence here. And, of course, it was after the huge success of The Matrix that everyone wanted a piece of the leather pie. That and the slow motion trend were the most apparent parts its legacy in Hollywood back then.
     
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  13. Fincher Coming Undone

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    Right, but those movies happened because of Batman '89. If you're talking direct influence, how many movies used Batman '89 itself as inspiration vs. how many used The Dark Knight, then I don't know, but it had a lasting impact on the industry through the movies that it did influence.

    Hollywood executives are predictable even if creative types aren't. Any time something makes as much money as Batman '89 did, Hollywood wants to know how they can recreate it, whether by greenlighting similar things or by steering their movies in a similar direction. So if you look a few years down the line at 1992 for movies that might have been influenced by Batman '89, there's Bram Stoker's Dracula, which was more stylized than previous Dracula versions while having a comedic element. There's Cool World, which took a lot from Who Framed Roger Rabbit but also had Batman-esque styling on the live action side. There's the darkly comedic Death Becomes Her, there's The Lawnmower Man, there's Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The point is that Hollywood's never going to be like, "Well, this made a whole ton of money, but let's make our comic book movies a similar way but ignore it when it comes to everything else." That's just not how they operate.
     
  14. MCU King Registered

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    Yeah BB and TDK were definitely more influential. Look how many movies and TV shows tried to ape them....or went for 'Gritty Reboots' with Zimmer-esque ripoff music in the background.

    Even WB tried to Nolanize Superman and Green Arrow.... to mixed results.

    If the Marvel movies never came along, studios would probably still be trying to go for the Nolan approach.
     
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  15. Neil McCauley Registered

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    fhis
     
  16. Dark Raven The Gal from Themyscira

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    I think the most influential movie is Batman Beguines.

    [​IMG]

    It started the Batdance craze and helped audiences not take the character so seriously anymore. Not quite as influential though was the prequel, Batman Begins the Beguine.
     
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  17. The Joker The Clown Prince of Crime

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    TDK. Its influence extended beyond the CBM genre. Something you don't see happen often with a CBM.
     
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  18. B [insert witty comment]

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    TDK is the better film & it elevated the whole CBM genre, however without Batman (1989) & the groundwork/template it put in place, Nolan's trilogy wouldn't even be a thing.

    Had it been anything less than a complete success, it would have set CBM's back 10+ years & had it not been done the way it was done, Batman's next outing could well have been reverted & more like Batman (1966) because a more serious take on the character 'didn't work.'

    Batman 1989 is the more influential film, there's no question.
     
  19. Kahran Ramsus Super Moderator

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    I think some people forget the slew of quirky, dark Burton-wannabe films that came out in the years after Batman. It was enormously influential for basically the entire 90s. And from a Batman standpoint, it led directly to The Animated Series which was an enormous influence on the character to this day. You could make the argument that most modern Batman media is closer to BTAS than Nolan.

    While TDK was certainly influential, I'm not willing to even go out on the ledge to say it was the most influential CBM of that year. A good case can be made for Iron Man, the film that launched the MCU.
     
  20. Milk Tray Guy 70s Man of Action

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    I've been going back and forth on this, but reading this I have to say I agree with you. Much as I love TDK, Batman is the one.

    And of course The Flash TV series with JWS. Hugely influenced by Burton's Batman.
     
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  21. AVEITWITHJAMON Darksider

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    This, previous movies put CBMs on the map in terms of box office success. But TDK put them on the map as serious movies with possible Oscar contentions.
     
  22. Filmfreak Registered

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    It was all but confirmed that The Dark Knight played a huge part in allowing more nominations for Best Picture from the following year on.
     
  23. MarvelFan ◢⁴⁶

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    I am still 1 years old when Batman 89 first out, it never made an impact for me...so to my generation, I think The Dark Knight made more impact.

    I think many see director Christopher Nolan become one of biggest director in Hollywood because of Dark Knight.
     
  24. Another_Fool Registered

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    Batman 89 was influential in changing the general audiences' perception of the Batman property itself by accepting the darker tone of the character rather than the 60's campiness.

    TDK on the other hand influenced the genre.

    Have to go with TDK.
     
  25. Mondragon My other Avi is Gaucho Mickey

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    Interesting take...

    Although pretty superficial mostly visuual 1 to 1, and revisited themes are expected, with a little effort you could do the same with Batman 69 clips.
    Heck with the original Mark of Zorro whose "scarred" villain, becomes obsessed with him, pursues his girl, usurps and controls the "organized mob" running the city. These aren't new tropes.
    And a few other films.
    But yeah, could be those who grew up with 89, going; been there,.
    While kids seeing DK thought it was all new, and everything must stem from it.
     
    #25 Mondragon, Oct 22, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2020

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