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Batman Returns (Two-Disc Special Edition) starring Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Michael Gough Classic & Hard To Find! With 1989s Batman, Tim Burtons bold visual style, the late Anton Fursts stunning production design, and the dark dance between doppelgangers suggested by Michael Keatons tortured Batman and Jack Nicholsons demonic Joker rejuvenated the caped crusaders franchise while setting a dauntingly high bar for any sequel. Its not surprising, then, that 1992s Batman Returns couldnt match the sheer impact of its predecessor, yet the subsequent passing of the baton to Joel Schumacher, and the title heros retreat to a more conventional persona, make the second Burton Batman worth another look. Perhaps reasoning that the appeal of two dueling schizoids might be upped by adding a third, Batman Returns pits millionaire Bruce Wayne and his alter ego against two equally split personalities, Catwoman (Michel e Pfeiffer) and the Penguin (Danny DeVito). If the equation yields less than the desired sum, it still gives Pfeiffer and DeVito room for oversized, properly gothic performances, and the very feline Pfeiffer, in particular, has a field day. DeVitos cackling, mutant orphan is nearly as riveting, and the story might have fared better if the scriptwriting committee hadnt tossed in a third villain, Christopher Walkens rapacious industrialist, Max Schreck (coyly named for the actor who played the earliest screen vampire, Count Orlock, in F. W. Murnaus German expressionist classic, Nosferatu), thereby pushing the plot toward rococo excess. Bo Welchs production design sustains the brooding mix of deco and gothic established by Furst, and Danny Elfmans dark, stirring score helps pick up some of the slack. --Sam Sutherland Personal Review: Batman Returns (Two-Disc Special Edition) starring Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Michael Gough BATMAN RETURNS (1992) is a personal favorite of mine. It's so quirky and EXTREMELY dark, almost to the point of being nightmarish! Tim Burton's sequel to his exciting, groundbreaking 1989 BATMA N film is a rarity in that it is a sequel that is actually at the very least GOOD! And I think it's much better than good. I like the fact that BATMAN RETURNS is almost completely different from BATMAN. While BATMAN was more grandiose, stylish and epic, BATMAN RETURNS is much more deep, dark, and scary. They really are two different films at their core. BATMA N boasted two great performances in Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson. BATMAN RETURNS ups the ante and gives us FOUR great performances! Michael Keaton returns as the Caped Crusader and this time he is joined by Danny Devito (as The Penguin), Michelle Pfeiffer (as Catwoman), and Christopher Walken (as Max Schreck). This was at a time when you could populate a film with major actors/stars and it actually turn out good! Burton's casting choices in his early films are amongst some of the most inspired I can think of out of any director in film history. BATMAN RETURNS opens with what I think is one of the greatest openings in all of film history! We hear an ominous, downbeat score as we are drawn in to a silhouetted figure standing in a window of a mansion from a distance. Then zoom in and it is the distinguished lord of the manor, pipe in mouth, monocles on (played by none other than Paul Reubens!). Then we hear a woman (his wife) in the bedroom screaming in both agony and horror as she has just given birth to an incredibly deformed baby (we are never shown the baby, just the parents and servants horrific reactions). Months later, the parents decide to abandon the baby and during Christmastime, throw him over a bridge at the local zoo and the carriage floats into the sewers as the parents look with confusion and sadness...Then the ominous music shifts to a more recognizable score: The Batman theme, but with some slight and intricate variations from the first film and then the opening credits as we watch the baby carriage go through the sewers and ends up in a penguin lair. I think that Danny Elfmann's score from this sequel surpasses his original! Should have won an Oscar! I just love this opening. Then cut to presen t day Gotham City 33 years later. It is the Christmas season in Gotham City and magnate Max Schreck (played with sly, cool, wicked confidence by Christopher Walken) is angling to build a new power plant and enlists the mayor's support. During the meeting, we also meet Schreck's extremely shy and underconfident secretary Selina Kyle (excellently played by the sultry Michel e Pfeiffer). Meanwhile, there are reports of a mysterious "Penguin" figure roaming the sewers of Gotham. During a tree-lighting ceremony where Schreck is giving a speech in Gotham Square, the Red Triangle Gang crashes the ceremony and terrorizing the Gothamite attendees. Commissioner Gordon (reprised by Pat Hingle) sends out the Bat signal as Bruce Wayne (again played by the great Michael Keaton) is sitting in his study alone in the dark. He sees the signal and goes to work! Batman arrives in the city and thwarts the gang for the moment, but in the melee, Schreck is kidnapped as we learn this was all planned by The Penguin (brilliant characterization by Danny Devito), as he wants Schreck to be his conduit back into normal society. He blackmails Schreck by showing proof of his dirty business dealings. Later, Selina stumbles upon papers that prove that Schreck wants to build the power plant to suck al the power from Gotham rather than supply it. Schreck pushes her out of his high-rise office and while she is motionless on the ground, she is revived by a bunch of cats and assumes the persona Catwoman. The Penguin ends up working with both Schreck and Catwoman in different capacities as each has his/her own agenda. The chemistry among the stars is great in this. Keaton and Pfeiffer are hot together as Batman and Catwoman and simultaneously sweet when they are their alter egos Bruce and Selina. DeVito and Walken are hilarious in their scenes as they scheme to bring down Gotham City and Batman. Also, Keaton and DeVito's scenes, although few, are very emotional and powerful. The tragic irony is that both men were born rich and lost their upbringing in a normal family and that is what made them into the "freaks" that they've become. But it's like watching 2 sides of a coin as Penguin hates the world and wants it to suffer as he has, while Batman channels his anger to do good and prevent incidents th at happened to him as a child from ever happening again...Fascinating! The great thing about BATMAN RETURNS is that Burton skillful y juggles the stories of 4 main characters and forms a memorable ensemble. Each characterization is unique and singular and wel performed. This is a much more introspective film that it's predecessor as there are times when you really get into the characters' psyches and see what makes them tick. But, make no mistake, there is stil a good amount of action (not as much as original), but the action here all feels more natural and necessary. Burton expertly places the action sequences in healthy doses throughout the film and they are all very well executed. He was underrated as a director of action. The dark, wintry setting also gives this sequel a more dire, apocalyptic tone and feel to it. The ending scenes are very tragic and sad almost to the extent of being hopeless, rather than hopeful. The film invested a lot into the actual characters, so even though they are all villains (except Batman), you actually felt bad when they got theirs in the end because they all had viable reasons for becoming evil. Well done, Mr. Burton! For More 5 Star Customer Reviews and Lowest Price: Batman Returns (Two-Disc Special Edition) starring Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Michael Gough 5 Star Customer Reviews and Lowest Price!