As the release of The Dark Knight
approaches, the level of excitement among people everywhere is intensifying, myself included. As much as I love the new adaptations of the Batman
series and think Christian Bale
gives an incredible performance as The Bat, I can’t help but wonder; did Michael Keaton
do it better? Like a nerd, I analyzed it, and here’s what I came up with:
THE BAT MEN
Keaton: Born and raised in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. Birth name: Michael John Douglas. He studied speech for two years at Kent State
(my alma mater, by the way) before dropping out and moving to Pittsburgh, PA. He attempted to be a stand up comedian but failed miserably at it and decided to work as a T.V. cameraman, where he realized he wanted to work in front of the camera.
Bale: Born and raised in Haverfordwest, Wales. Birth name: Christian Charles Philip Bale. He auditioned for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and the Central School of Speech And Drama at the age of twenty. He was accepted to all, but was convinced by his parents to continue working instead. He made his first acting debut opposite British comedian Rowan Atkinson
on the London West End
THE DEMEANOR (AS ONESELF)
Keaton: Let’s face it, Keaton is a funny guy. He’s had several roles playing funny characters (i.e. Beetle Juice
) and gets a lot of recognition doing so. Keaton also happens to be Second City
alumni (Los Angeles branch). He keeps bitches in stitches.
Bale: He’s got that amazing accent (I’m a total sucker, I know) and he’s incredibly well-spoken. Much like playing Batman, he prefers his personal life be kept a secret because he feels it helps him portray characters more realistically. He’s such a down-to-Earth fellow, but he’s not your Average Joe.
Winner: Draw – Where Keaton has the laughs, Bale’s got the charm.
THE DEMEANOR (AS BATMAN)
Keaton: Tim Burton
had a lot of faith in him, saying he was, “The only actor who could believably portray someone who has the kind of darkly obsessive personality that the character has.” Back in 1989, that was definitely true. Even still, he brought a lot of humor to the flick. For instance, in Batman
, he says, "Alfred's a great one. I couldn't find my socks without him." Har har.
Bale: He’s what every Batman fan ever imagined. He’s dark, he’s mysterious and he pulls it off. He takes Batman to a level no one had seen before. There's a scene in Batman Begins
where he shows us he's not the typical Batman we've seen on screen before when he says, "Mm... I'm not finished. To all of you, uh, all you phonies, all of you two-faced friends, you sycophantic suck-ups who smile through your teeth at me, please leave me in peace. Please go. Stop smiling. It's not a joke. Please leave. The party's over. Get out." Heavy shit. He’s definitely no campy-ass Adam West version
Winner: Bale – He says it best, “You couldn't pull it off unless you became a beast inside that suit.” Besides, people were enraged when they initially heard Keaton was playing Batman. You don’t fuck with an icon.
Keaton: Holy abs, Batman! His costume makes this dude look ripped! He definitely made Batman look terrifying compared to Adam West’s portrayal. I would never be scared of a guy in a K-mart Halloween costume. This guy though? Um…yeah…
Bale: Even though his costume looks way cooler, the fact that he looks as good outside of the suit is impressive. Even this guy’s suit is serious-looking.
Winner: Draw - There's too much ab-o-licious rubber involved to make a clear-minded decision. They both have that scary/sexy thing going on for them...
Keaton: He’s been in 55 films and television shows. That’s impressive, yes, but I’ve got to say that after he did White Noise
, his days were over. He doesn’t really do much anymore, but he does contribute a lot of voice work to various projects (i.e. Cars
and “King of the Hill”
Bale: Considering he’s only been acting for 20 years, he’s been in 40 films. He made one T.V. show appearance, so the fact he’s been cranking out movies essentially nonstop for the last few years…well, sounds exhausting. Plus, did you see him
in The Machinist
? It takes a real actor to dedicate himself to the point of near-death.
Winner: Bale – Just as Keaton was dying out, Bale was just getting started. Bale owns my soul.
Keaton: He definitely got in good shape for this movie, no doubt, but I don’t recall seeing him with his shirt off at all, so I can’t totally judge for sure. Yes, I just want to see him with his shirt off…
Bale: Nolan hired a trainer for him to get in shape for Batman Begins
. Also, for Newsies
, he learned martial arts and did some dancing. Talk about mad skill.
Winner: Bale – This picture says it all:
Keaton: Face it, with a smile like that you can pretty much charm the pants off anyone you want. Girls are total suckers for funny guys. Keaton at one time dated Courteney Cox
(who later married David Arquette
…my point exactly) and is now married to a pretty nice looking broad.
Bale: Married or not, any girl on this planet would drop whoever they were with to be with him, and not just because he’s a looker. He’s got brains and he’s an incredible talent. The fact he’s gorgeous is just an added bonus.
Winner: Bale – Um…again...
Keaton: He’s a household name. Not only was he Batman, he was also Beetlejuice and Mr. Mom
. He was also in this little movie called Gung Ho
…not sure if you’ve seen it…if you haven’t you should be shot in the face. Just saying…
Bale: He was voted one of the “Top 8 Most Powerful Cult Figures” by Entertainment Weekly
a few years back. Not only is he Batman currently, but he was also Patrick “Holy Shitballs Don’t Fuck With Him” Bateman
Winner: Draw – Whereas Bale is more popular these days, Keaton has a long-standing reputation as well. They’re both pretty awesome guys.
Hands down, Christian Bale is the winner. I sort of feel bad because Michael Keaton was at a disadvantage, but we all know deep down the insane and sheer brilliance of The Bale. If I could make a religion after this guy, I would, except that’s really, really creepy…