This is Pastor Tim’s article that appeared in the Evening Leader on Tuesday, Feb 21
I recently had a blast from the past in my life. I saw a trailer for the new “The Flash” movie that is coming out on June 16. They are bringing back Micheal Keaton to play Batman. Now, to those readers who are older than me, you are probably asking “why does that matter?” To those who are younger than me, you are asking “who is Micheal Keaton.” But to any of you who are of my generation, my fellow Gen Xers, you know exactly why that is significant. Micheal Keaton played Batman in one of the most influential movies in my life: Batman. The movie was released on June 23, 1989, and I did not need to look that date up. I have seen that movie more times than any other single movie. You do not want to watch it with me because I can quote every scene from memory. I can remember loving that movie so much that I wore out the VHS tape I had of it. I studied every frame, and I loved every moment. Jack Nicholson played the Joker, and it was the movie that brought us the entire decade of the 1990s. From the dark and brooding heroes to the swish of Keanu Reeves jacket in the Matrix, all of that was inspired by this movie.
Micheal Keaton was not a popular choice to play Batman because he had not played a dramatic role before. He was primarily known as a comedian. Plus, he was short and not physically built, no one believed he could pull off the physical presence of Batman. What the critics did not account for was the magic of Hollywood to put together a suit that would do the job perfectly. In the case of 1989 Batman, it is absolutely true that the suit made the man. Micheal Keaton is not a foreboding presence like some of the more recent actors to play Batman, particularly Ben Affleck, who is a very big man.
Now Keaton is coming back to play Batman in this new movie. Micheal Keaton is now in his 70s. How is he going to pull off playing a superhero? That is when I remind you, they said the exact same thing about Keaton back in 1989. He is too small, not intimidating, not menacing. But before you make this criticism, you must remember that in this case, it is the suit that makes the man and in the trailer I saw, the suit looks spectacular. They designed it in the same way that the suit looked in 1989 and I am there for it.
What I am praying is that they do not do to Micheal Keaton what they did to Mark Hamill when he returned to play Luke Skywalker in Star Wars. They made Luke a chump and I know that I am not supposed to hate people (because of that whole pastor thing) but God forgive me, I hate Rian Johnson. He was the director of the new Star Wars Movie the Last Jedi, and he DESTROYED Luke Skywalker. Please, I am begging you, please don’t do that to Micheal Keaton’s Batman.
So many of the characters I grew up loving have not been treated with any respect by modern directors who did not grow up with them and do not love them like we do. They have destroyed Scooby Doo, Star Wars, and Amazon Prime is working very hard to destroy Lord of the Rings by making it woke and ruining what was once a great story.
I don’t want any 2023 influence in this movie. I just want to experience the movie I loved so much as I remember it. Sure, it won’t be the same because I am no longer a Freshmen in High School like I was when the 1989 Batman came out. But don’t abuse or destroy this character. It is no secret that Batman is my favorite character of all time and I want him portrayed properly. Is that so much to ask? Keaton won’t be able to wear the suit too many more times and if I get to see him in it, I want it to be a celebration of something I love, not a time to subvert my expectations.
I was 14 years old the summer of 1989 when Batman came out in theaters. My friend, Matt Dyer and I went to see it together in the little movie theater in Ada near where we grew up. The theater was packed, and we sat in the front row. I had a Laffy Taffy as a snack and I don’t think I blinked once during the entire movie. At one point, Matt tried to say something to me and I shoved him away because I didn’t want to be interrupted.
I am 48 years old now and I would like to inform Wayne Street that I am going to need the day off on June 16. You can expect a full review shortly thereafter.