Tuesday, June 23, 2009

20 years ago today...

Batman went into release. I was living in Hong Kong at the time, where it didn't premiere till Chinese New Year 1990. By then, a staggering eight months later, everyone who had an interest (low in that part of Asia) had seen it on tape or laserdisc, and distributors of Hollywood films learned the hard way to strike while the iron was hot and get their wares into the global village promptly. After all the hype it was OK--Tim Burton was clearly hamstrung by the suits, who insisted on ninjas in the belltower in the final scene, the Prince tunes, and that sort of dumbing-down thing. The 1992 sequel Batman Returns, Burton unchained, is much more to my liking, and I prefer both to the huffing-and-puffing pseudo-seriousness of the naturalistic, no-fun Christopher Nolan pictures. Then again I preferred comic book adaptations when they were a rarity and not the mind-numbing, summer-hogging norm.

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