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Episode 70: BATMAN v SUPERMAN

BATMAN v SUPERMAN  

150 members have voted

  1. 1. Which superhero movie makes the cut?

    • BATMAN (1989)
      51
    • SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE (1979)
      99


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I am going with "Superman".

 

I think, as far as "last the test to time" aspect to the film, it holds up better much better. Also, as mentioned on the podcast, I think (animated series aside) the Donner film is the only cinematic venture to date to capture the aspect of the character correctly.

 

Another reason that I am partial to Donner is that Tim Burton's "Batman", tame as it may seem by today's standards, added to solidifying the Frank Miller's "edgie" Batman as being the go-to Batman that people think of when the character is brought up. I'm with Grant Morrison. As hokey as it is, I enjoy the heroic detective solving crimes with his good chum. (keeping in mind that these are, or at least started out as, children's stories)

 

Though, were the battle between "Superman 2" and "Batman Returns", I would probably vote for the later. Unfortunately, the tail end of "Superman 2" feels like the big battle scene was shot in a small airplane hanger (it probably was) rather than the streets of New York and when I watched it recently I was surprised that it simply did not hold up for me at all.

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Loved SUPERMAN as a kid, but that incredibly dumb ending was what stuck with me. Then I rewatched it a few years ago, and I was amazed by how great 80% of it is (but the end still sucks).

 

BATMAN was perfect for its moment, and had a big influence on not only comic book movies, but comic books of the '90s...but it wasn't always a good influence. And, SUPERMAN is timeless (even as it is also very much of its time) where BATMAN is dated (even with the retro feel).

 

Also, I think you guys nailed SUPERMAN RETURNS and BATMAN RETURNS along the way. I think there's a bit of a move to re-assess Singer's film, especially since its heart is so much more in the right place than Snyder's take. But just because its heart is in the right place doesn't mean it isn't deeply, deeply flawed (it is!).Meanwhile, BATMAN RETURNS is doing really interesting things - it's my second favorite Batman film (after THE DARK KNIGHT).

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I can't believe Superman is gonna win this one. I think maybe there was some major influencing by our hosts on this one. I enjoy watching the original Batman despite it's (minor) flaws, even to this day. When I watch Superman I get super bored. Have never enjoyed Superman.

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It's always interesting to see what others find boring. I find Batman much more boring because the only really exceptional thing about it is the Joker and it sinks like a stone whenever he isn't prancing about onscreen. Though after listening to the Podcast I feel like lackadaisical cinematography in Batman may have also contributed. It has a lot of beautiful imagery, but it isn't particularly well-composed or engaging. Superman lags a tiny bit but for the most part I think it moves at a nice clip. One big difference between the two is that Superman has several riveting action scenes revolving around Superman doing Superman stuff, while Batman...doesn't. The movie is never able to get action any better than stilted, which, yknow, a movie doesn't necessarily need action, but if there isn't much else of interest it helps. 'Boring' is an incredibly subjective criticism, I think it's always worth looking at what about the movie *makes* it boring. I saw Gods of Egypt and it certainly isn't slow or really wanting for action, but it's so poorly written and heavy on nonsensical plot that it becomes a horrible slog.

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I've got to go with Batman. I can agree Superman is technically the better film, but I grew up with Batman and my nostalgia won't let me vote for truth, justice, and the American way.

 

Also, "Batdance".

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I can't believe Superman is gonna win this one. I think maybe there was some major influencing by our hosts on this one. I enjoy watching the original Batman despite it's (minor) flaws, even to this day. When I watch Superman I get super bored. Have never enjoyed Superman.

I'm with you here, and I think you nailed the reason why. After the American Beauty episode, a movie that I was certain was going to make it in, I came to the conclusion that the episodes are definitely huge factors in which way the vote sways.

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Maybe it's because in general I'm a huge Superman fan, and not particularly on the Batman train, but as fun as Burton's Batman films are, they've never given me the same feeling as "You'll believe a man can fly," combined with Reeve's earnestness, and Williams' incredible score.

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Superman because the first hour/Smallville portion just is absolutely the most beautiful and moving segment in any superhero movie ever to me. I could just watch that portion on its own as a film and be satisfied. I think the second half is mostly okay, but has too much that brings it down. It's like half bad (Lex and team) and half good (everything Lois & Clark). It's really tonally all over the place.

 

I like Batman front to back more, but it never reaches the highs of the Smallville section. I continually think about Superman: The Movie, whereas Batman is mostly something that I find has faded in the background of how I view the character. In spite of Batman's influence, I feel like it isn't the definitive portrayal of the character. But Superman is absolutely defined by that film/performance.

 

(My Dumb Fan Theory) I think the time travel in Superman could work if his action implied the opening of a rift that allowed Zod out of the phantom zone. Obviously not in the text of the film, but it could point to the mistake of his actions without it fully being the wrong choice, and it would make sense for the warning Jor El gives him.

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No Batman without Superman? Not buying it. Even without Superman it is entirely conceivable a Batman movie would come along eventually. I don't think Batman took much from Superman either (except maybe that it needed an awesome score? I love both, actually); the film is so Tim Burton-y I could see it turning out exactly the same even without Donner's Superman.

 

Amy & Devs are right, Burton is hyper-focused on visuals & style... just like a comic book! I'm a visual guy, so Batman 1 has always appealed to me for that exact reason. Even rewatching it recently (but before the episode), I didn't notice the "careless" mistakes y'all did at all; in fact, I think you're crazy. I just loved the bold way Burton frames shots and moves the camera. Well, any time Batman's on-screen (the whole chemical factory sequence especially)... the rest er, maybe not so much. Uh, did I mention the score?

 

Sure, Batman Returns is probably better made, but it's just so unsatisfying on many levels, in ways the first isn't. Just like with The Dark Knight, the villian(s) take over the movie. Sure, Michelle Pfeiffer is amazing, but Batman just fades into the shadows. Batman fights actual penguins more than he does The Penguin. The whole last act is just sort of a bust for me. And how come Batman doesn't dance anymore?

 

Superman - a good film, and the best version of Superman, but mostly hokey and just doesn't hold up for me. I'm voting Batman. Did the movie always make sense? No. Did Superman?

 

And Arli$$ and Vicki Vale? Don't mind them at all. In Batman, everyone is either nuts or wants to get nuts. (C'mon! Let's get nuts)

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Damn, reading through this thread a few days after voting and I'm still wrestling with this decision. There's so much good shit in both movies and they're both so damn influential that I wish both could be in the Canon. I agree with a previous user that said that Batman needs to get in when we give losers a second chance.

 

I think most of us would agree with Amy and Devin about BvS:DoJ, but at the very least it led to us re-watching these two great movies and led me to read a bunch of comics I am really enjoying.

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I think it was summed up well at the end. SUPERMAN is more confidently made. The better representation of the character. And the more historically significant. BATMAN seemed to really only influence the animated series? I love the film (and the cartoon) by the way, but as I've gotten older the seams of the movie have started to show. Especially production-wise. (Gotham seems to just be one street with the theater and the cathedral?)

From Jor-El's opening line, the film is telling you it knows what it's doing. "This is no fantasy, no careless product of wild imagination." SUPERMAN all the way.

 

(Also, I enjoy Hackman's Lex, I just wish he was a CEO, in a skyscraper, and w/o a comedic henchman. That seems nitpicky now that I type it, but I love the image of Superman, with a stern look, hovering outside of Lex's office we get sometimes in comics and cartoons. And Lex being a powerful businessman, but now insecure by the presence of this new hero, works better for the character than "the greatest criminal mind of our time" operating from an underground lair.)

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If I could I would have voted neither. I don't think either of them deserve to be on the canon, either as a superhero movie (the only ones I'd possibly consider, and even these are a maybe, would be The Dark Knight or Iron Man 1), or as great movies. They're both fun and campy movies, but that's it really. None of the pre-Nolan Batman movies are good movies, though this might be one of the better bad Batman movies. And despite just how fun, and happy, and hopeful the Superman movie is (none of these things are present in MoS or BvS), it's an ok movie overall. Though Christopher Reeve will always be my perfect Superman actor. But since I have to choose, Superman is my vote, because frankly, Superman way a much better movie than Batman.

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Batman didn't even get 50% of the votes Superman got.....

 

My childhood....shriveling....dying....

 

I hope the next superhero episode can be the Spider-Man trilogy

 

Ummm.....You mean the Sam Raimi Spider-Man duology? I don't think you'd have too many takers on the third one. Just sayin'.

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Ummm.....You mean the Sam Raimi Spider-Man duology? I don't think you'd have too many takers on the third one. Just sayin'.

 

Well, yeah. Though there's always the argument to be had for putting examples of mistakes in the Canon.

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Well, yeah. Though there's always the argument to be had for putting examples of mistakes in the Canon.

 

If it was Raimi's mistakes, maybe (but, realistically, still very much not). But how do you make a Canon episode out of a movie beset by executive meddling and corporate cynicism? It failed because it was mandated such that it HAD to fail. Canon? Hell no.

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I vote Superman, because it is definitely the best Superman movie of all and gets the character 100% right. Yes, it does have problems with tone once we get to Luthor, but that first hour is just amazing. And I don't even mind the Earth-spinning. It would be troubling if there were any particularly great sequels to follow, but since all of them were more or less worse, you can pretty much look at this as a standalone film that wraps everything up nicely. And man, does this film work. The score still gives me a sense of wonder you rarely get anymore.

There were several better Batman movies, I think Batman Returns is a much better film set in the same world, and the first two Nolan films do a great job. I do admire Jack Nicholson as the Joker, but he never commits to the character enough for my taste. I see Nicholson in make-up, not the Joker. I might be spoiled by Ledger though.

So overall, team Superman on this one.

I was going to write a post, but this sums it up.

 

Neither is a good movie, but as stupid as the earth-spinning is, "Superman The Movie" has heart thanks to Reeve. Marginal win over this "Batman" for me.

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