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1989 Vs. 2005 Batmobiles

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In the 1989 movie "Batman" we were introduced to one of the most beloved Batmobiles of all time. In 2005 we will be introduced to a new Batmobile in "Batman Begins". So far we've been treated to a few pictures and a couple minutes of on road film. Some love it, some hate it. Here’s what I think.

 

1989's "Batman" was a highly stylized film, while 2005's "Batman Begins" is aiming at realism. Two completely different visions approaching a character, as well as his “ride�, in two completely different ways. However there must be a middle ground. It is a movie, after all, therefore NOTHING in it is real. You cannot make a film like Batman TOO real or TOO fake else it becomes absurd. For instance, where in the real world today is there a man dressed as a bat clobbering madmen in the street? It never happens, therefore we as an audience must suspend disbelief in a story that involves such a man. In a film that is too real we see a mentally ill man dressed in a $25 Halloween costume arrested (or killed) on his first attempt at “crime fighting�, locked away and/or medicated for his bi-polar or multiple personality disorder. But if the film pushes too far in the other direction, we get Adam West or George Clooney. There is middle ground, and there we (film-makers and film-goers) must meet.

 

I think the 2005 Batmobile, at least from a visual perspective, is TOO real. It moves so far into realism that it becomes unbelievable, just as the Barris Batmobile of the 60's moved just as deeply into the surreal. Don’t get me wrong, they are both awesome machines that scale models of do or will soon adorn my living/working spaces. I am merely stating where they fall on the “surreal-real� scale.

 

Which brings me to the 1989 Batmobile. In my opinion this Batmobile more than any other ever created in print or in sheet metal falls beautifully right in the middle of the “surreal-real� scale. Just real enough to be believable, yet stylized enough to maintain the fantasy within which the Batman mythos revolve. It’s a flat black jet powered F-1 racer with bat-wing fins on the rear fenders. I’ve seen Hondas that look more absurd on the freeway. The more I look at this Batmobile the more I appreciate that it may very well be the best physical rendition of a purely fantastical machine ever.

 

I suspend full judgement until I see the film in whole, and I will be the first to admit it if my opinion changes, but for now I feel that in their quest for realism the film-makers and designers of “Batman Begins� missed the mark in creating the newest Batmobile. It’s just too real.

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In the 1989 movie "Batman" we were introduced to one of the most beloved Batmobiles of all time. In 2005 we will be introduced to a new Batmobile in "Batman Begins". So far we've been treated to a few pictures and a couple minutes of on road film. Some love it, some hate it. Here’s what I think.

 

1989's "Batman" was a highly stylized film, while 2005's "Batman Begins" is aiming at realism. Two completely different visions approaching a character, as well as his “ride�, in two completely different ways. However there must be a middle ground. It is a movie, after all, therefore NOTHING in it is real. You cannot make a film like Batman TOO real or TOO fake else it becomes absurd. For instance, where in the real world today is there a man dressed as a bat clobbering madmen in the street? It never happens, therefore we as an audience must suspend disbelief in a story that involves such a man. In a film that is too real we see a mentally ill man dressed in a $25 Halloween costume arrested (or killed) on his first attempt at “crime fighting�, locked away and/or medicated for his bi-polar or multiple personality disorder. But if the film pushes too far in the other direction, we get Adam West or George Clooney. There is middle ground, and there we (film-makers and film-goers) must meet.

 

I think the 2005 Batmobile, at least from a visual perspective, is TOO real. It moves so far into realism that it becomes unbelievable, just as the Barris Batmobile of the 60's moved just as deeply into the surreal. Don’t get me wrong, they are both awesome machines that scale models of do or will soon adorn my living/working spaces. I am merely stating where they fall on the “surreal-real� scale.

 

Which brings me to the 1989 Batmobile. In my opinion this Batmobile more than any other ever created in print or in sheet metal falls beautifully right in the middle of the “surreal-real� scale. Just real enough to be believable, yet stylized enough to maintain the fantasy within which the Batman mythos revolve. It’s a flat black jet powered F-1 racer with bat-wing fins on the rear fenders. I’ve seen Hondas that look more absurd on the freeway. The more I look at this Batmobile the more I appreciate that it may very well be the best physical rendition of a purely fantastical machine ever.

 

I suspend full judgement until I see the film in whole, and I will be the first to admit it if my opinion changes, but for now I feel that in their quest for realism the film-makers and designers of “Batman Begins� missed the mark in creating the newest Batmobile. It’s just too real.

I would normally agree with you 100%, if not for the fact that this is supposed to be the equivalent of "Batman: Year One." In my eyes, Batman's first ride would not be that stylish creation of 1989 (which, indeed, was awesome), but a more practical car/tank hybrid that we will see in Batman Begins. As such, it would take a few years/tries and lots of experience to develop something as sleek and battle-ready as the 89 Batmobile. So, in this instance, I'm willing to suspend disbelief a bit.

 

However...if Scarecrow looks like crap, I will be sorely disappointed.

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There's very little realism in placing a jet engine in FRONT of where you're planning on sitting, unless you're planning on being the Human Torch, not Batman.

 

Neither version of the Batmobile is terribly high on my list, though both top the glowing monstrosities of Batman Forever and Batman & Robin.

 

The '89 car is too over the top for my tastes. It's impractically large (both width and length): it'd handle poorly, and carries a heck of a lot of unnecessary weight. The rear visibilty sucks, but I'm alright with that: Bruce'd probably have heads up displays from rearview cameras instead.

 

The new film version doesn't do much for me either. I expect it's the part I'll like least about the film (which I otherwise expect to enjoy).

 

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As far as screen visions of the Batmobile go, I'd rank The New Batman Adventures model at the top. Then the Batman: The Animated Series, then the '66 version, then Superfriends, and finally rounding it off with the film versions '89/'92, '95, and '97.

 

The New Adventures version takes much of what works from the '89 design, while dumping much of what doesn't, resulting in a much sleeker, less bulky, design, without the goofy jet engine in the front end.

 

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Comics-wise, I've always preferred the ones that look like they were made from a real car, adapted to Batman's needs, with a few cosmetic bat-themed touches, to the over-the-top, built from scratch ones, with more thought given to bat-themed looks than practicality/usefulness.

 

The Mattel/current comics design... ugh. It looks like someone decided to combine every one of the movie designs, along with the '66 design, and then added a nonsensical dual function glider/spoiler.

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I can't go with a final verdict without seeing the new one in action.

 

So far, the '89 Batmobile is my all time favorite handsdown - over almost any vehicles Batman related.

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There's very little realism in placing a jet engine in FRONT of where you're planning on sitting, unless you're planning on being the Human Torch, not Batman.

 

Neither version of the Batmobile is terribly high on my list, though both top the glowing monstrosities of Batman Forever and Batman & Robin.

 

The '89 car is too over the top for my tastes. It's impractically large (both width and length): it'd handle poorly, and carries a heck of a lot of unnecessary weight. The rear visibilty sucks, but I'm alright with that: Bruce'd probably have heads up displays from rearview cameras instead.

 

The new film version doesn't do much for me either. I expect it's the part I'll like least about the film (which I otherwise expect to enjoy).

 

---

 

As far as screen visions of the Batmobile go, I'd rank The New Batman Adventures model at the top. Then the Batman: The Animated Series, then the '66 version, then Superfriends, and finally rounding it off with the film versions '89/'92, '95, and '97.

 

The New Adventures version takes much of what works from the '89 design, while dumping much of what doesn't, resulting in a much sleeker, less bulky, design, without the goofy jet engine in the front end.

 

---

 

Comics-wise, I've always preferred the ones that look like they were made from a real car, adapted to Batman's needs, with a few cosmetic bat-themed touches, to the over-the-top, built from scratch ones, with more thought given to bat-themed looks than practicality/usefulness.

 

The Mattel/current comics design... ugh. It looks like someone decided to combine every one of the movie designs, along with the '66 design, and then added a nonsensical dual function glider/spoiler.

You are so right the Batman new animated Batmobile simply rocks!!! One of the few Batmobiles that allows you to place more than one figure inside.

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i agree movie wise built so far i favor the 89...screen waise drawn i favor TNBA, but i too will wait until 2005 to see the new one in action

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anyone got some comparision pics?

 

the animted series one was my although i thought the legend desgin was insanely close. It just need a slightly better view for the driver and it would have taken the cake.

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I love the 89 Batmobile. While the newer one is pretty cool from what I've read about the script, I grew up with the old one and it's how I always imagine the Batmobile (though the animated ones are pretty cool too).

 

Just out of curiousty, was the 89 Batmobile made out of scratch or was it based on another car?

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