Sure, compared to Christopher Nolan’s dark reboot the original Batman movies are a little kitschy and very campy, but they’re also a whole lot of fun! Don’t forget, the first two were directed by Tim Burton and starred such film and TV luminaries as Jack Nicholson, Christopher Walken, Michael Gough, Michelle Pfeiffer, Danny DeVito and the recently newly-appreciated Michael Keaton (Birdman). These two are worth seeing to admire the production design alone, and the talented actors bring a surprising level of realism to their roles.
The third and fourth kept the camp-fest going, and were directed by A-Lister Joel Schumacher (The Lost Boys, Phantom of the Opera). Schumacher brought such stars as George Clooney, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Uma Thurman, Nicole Kidman, Jim Carrey and Tommy Lee Jones to the franchise. These two are filled with punny banter and big-budget sets and stunts, and are definitely more cartoonish in tone than the first two.
Right now all the original Batman movies are on sale in the Instant Video store, with the first three priced at just $7.99 to own in either SD or HD and the fourth at $7.99 in SD/$12.99 in HD, so whether you’re a Batman or Burton completionist or are just looking for more lighthearted Batman movies the whole family can enjoy (these are all rated PG-13), it’s a great time to pick these up. Descriptions below are from IMDB.
Gotham City: dark, dangerous, ‘protected’ only by a mostly corrupt police department. Despite the best efforts of D.A. Harvey Dent and police commissioner Jim Gordon, the city becomes increasingly unsafe…until a Dark Knight arises. We all know criminals are a superstitious, cowardly lot…so his disguise must be able to strike terror into their hearts.
He becomes a bat. Enter Vicky Vale, a prize-winning photo journalist who wants to uncover the secret of the mysterious “bat-man”. And enter Jack Napier, one-time enforcer for Boss Grissom, horribly disfigured after a firefight in a chemical factory…who, devoid of the last vestiges of sanity, seizes control of Gotham’s underworld as the psychotic, unpredictable Clown Prince of Crime…the Joker.
Gotham’s only hope, it seems, lies in this dark, brooding vigilante. And just how does billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne fit into all of this? – Written by Gregory A. Sheets
The Dark Knight of Gotham City confronts a dastardly duo: Two-Face and the Riddler.
Batman’s third film follows the practice of the second by giving him two villains to face, Two-Face and the Riddler.
Two-Face blames Batman for his disfigurement and simply wishes him dead. The Riddler is a disgruntled inventor who worked for Wayne Enterprises and is terribly jealous of Wayne’s success and sophistication and uses his riddles to show his superiority over Wayne and Batman.
Added to this mix are a sexy abnormal psychologist who is not only studying the criminals, but has a thing for Batman as well and Dick Grayson (Robin) is introduced.
Gotham is still a dark and foreboding place in which Batman begins to come to grips with his own psychology as he relives the deaths of his parents in his dreams. – Written by John Vogel
New troubles have arisen in Gotham City. First, there’s a new super villain in town: Mr. Freeze, a former doctor whose blood is laced with cryogenic liquid, causing him to be cold in look and feeling who plans to freeze Gotham until he gets the money needed to finish finding the cure for a mysterious disease that has stricken his wife.
Second, Poison Ivy, a villainess with luscious lips full of venom, has arrived in Gotham with her hulking servant, Bane, with plans to team up with Freeze and prepare the way for genetically enhanced plants.
Third, Ivy has caused a rift between the partnership of the Dark Knight and the Boy Wonder.
And finally, Alfred, Batman’s trusted butler, has developed the same disease that Freeze’s wife has. It is in this time of need that a new partner, Batgirl, steps forward to help the two rid the city of evil once more. – Written by Will