Batman's rise, fall and resurrection on the big screen

Batman's rise, fall and resurrection on the big screen

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For fans of the Caped Crusader, the late '90s were a depressing time. Tim Burton had left the "Batman" series following the well-received 1989 original ("Batman") and 1992 sequel ("Batman Returns"), and was replaced by Joel Schumacher, the hack director responsible for transforming Gotham City into a candy-colored tour stop from Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. Not even a comedy megastar like Jim Carrey could save "Batman Forever," while the dreaded nipple suit from "Batman and Robin" proved to be the eventual death kiss to the series. Or so it seemed.

At the turn of the new millennium, the suits over at Warner Bros. got the idea to resurrect the since-ignored franchise, and in doing so, created a new vision of Batman with the help of director Christopher Nolan and star Christian Bale. 2005's "Batman Begins" portrayed the iconic superhero as the dark, brooding vigilante that Frank Miller had envisioned, and along with becoming a box office smash, most agreed that the film was also the best comic book movie ever made. Not even Tim Burton loyalists could deny that, unless, of course, they've already seen "The Dark Knight," Nolan's 2008 follow-up that has already spurred early Oscar talk for Heath Ledger's commanding performance as The Joker. We knew the series was poised to fly higher, and farther, than ever before, but if "The Dark Knight" is a near-masterpiece, is it even possible for Nolan and Co. to outdo themselves once again?

 
Batman Begins

Batman

Batman Returns
 
 
Batman Forever

Batman and Robin
 

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