35th Anniversary Thread

Started by Silver Nemesis, Mon, 24 Jun 2024, 17:27

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This week marks the 35th anniversary of Batman 89's US theatrical release. YouTube's been recommending me several videos on the subject, so I figured we might as well have a thread about it. Post anything related to the 35th anniversary here. Nostalgic reminiscences, video essays, articles, or anything else you like.

It's no exaggeration to say B89 changed my life. On a creative level, I think I regard BR as the superior film. For sheer fun, BF and B&R are tough to beat.

But B89 will always stand above all the others because of the simple fact that I would not be here in this forum today (whether that's a good or bad thing) if not for B89.

My Superman fandom goes DEEP. It goes so far back that I don't even know where it began. Superman has literally always been there in my life. But the thing is Superman didn't make me a comic book fan.

In fact, leading into the summer of 1989, my tastes were very clear. I was well on my way to becoming a monster/horror movie fan. Admittedly, it was hard to find good stuff on cable TV back in those days. But I devoured every monster/ghost/whatever story I could get my hands on. I couldn't get enough of that stuff.

And so, for those reasons, it's not a stretch at all to speculate that if June 23, 1989 had been just another day on the calendar, that I would've bypassed comic books, superheroes and all that stuff completely. Instead, I would've landed in horror movie land and probably never looked back.

But that's not what happened. B89 came out, I saw it on opening day and I can only describe the impact that it had on me as being similar to the impact that Star Wars '77 had on that generation. This was the movie that unlocked my imagination.

Batman had such an utterly captivating mythos, a supreme rogues gallery, the coolest equipment and gadgets, the list just goes on. And his motives are perfectly understandable. He watched his parents die. That would have an impact on anybody.

One major boon for B89 was Burton's directorial style. Lots of matte paintings, lots of hazy atmosphere, lots of gangsters in trench coats, lots of Batman swooping around doing cool stuff. I've often wondered if I would've responded as favorably to the film if it had been directed by anybody else. The jury is out on that. But with all due respect to Christopher Nolan, if I wasn't already a Batman fan, then nothing about Batman Begins would've gotten me into a Batman jersey.

But EVERYTHING about B89 got me into a Batman jersey. It's... kind of impossible to state how monumental B89's impact on me was. Again, I regard BR as the superior work in many respects. But there's a power to B89 that no other movie (Batman-related or not) has ever come CLOSE to matching.

Maybe you just had to be there. But since I indeed WAS there, I fell in love with Burton's vision of this character and his world.

35 years. But in many ways, it still seems like it was only yesterday.

Here's a trivia quiz from the Warner Bros. YouTube page to commemorate the 35th anniversary.

The answer to question 4 is incorrect. Napier's surgeon was the first person to see him as the Joker, not Grissom.

The answer to question 7 is also inaccurate, since the Joker didn't 'recruit' mimes. Those were just his regular goons disguised as mimes. But that's more an error in the way the question is worded.

In my early youth, I remember being all about He-Man, TMNT, and Ghostbusters, but Batman was the film that forever solidified me as a Bat-fan and overall interest in Superheroes. What could've been once considered a passing affection, was no longer the case once I finally saw Batman in the theater. The hype was incredibly engrossing, and the film met all my expectations and more. Never had I seen anything like that previously, and needless to say, the imprint on me following exiting the movie theater that night would forever be lasting.

It's 35 years later, and I'm still singing it's praises. 

"Imagination is a quality given a man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humour was provided to console him for what he is."

My best memories of B89 are sitting down watching my VHS copy of the film I recorded off TV. I remember the cassette cover and how atmospheric that even looked, with BATMAN written on the front in blue pen. I can't put into words how important that movie or Batman himself was to me as a kid. Even if I didn't completely comprehend the intricacies of the plot, I definitely felt the vibe.

The descent into mystery, for example, is still unmatched in the way it captures what Batman is all about. There's something special about B89 that won't be replicated ever again. The journey to get it made, being the first serious live action adaption and the Beatlemania level hype it generated. Being released in my birth year means I'll truly always be connected to it.