What You Never Knew Batman
April 1, 2014
(The shortened opening)
NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. And welcome to a new segment I like to call...What You Never Knew.
(The logo of What You Never Knew is shown with two large eyes)
Voice: I never knew that!
NC: This is where I look back at films you've probably seen a million times, but it's still very likely you've missed one or two little details that are either in the background or in the foreground. With that said, let's take a look at the 1989 classic, Batman.
(Clips from Batman are shown)
NC (vo): Yes, it's one of the most bizarrely awesome and awesomely bizarre superhero films ever made, but just how much right in front of you did you miss? Today, we're gonna look at the Easter Eggs, the tiny touches, and the little winks to the audience that make us want to watch these movies over and over again. They're not pre-production, post-production, or anything behind the scenes, they're just the kick-ass little moments you never realized were making the movie much more kick-ass than you thought.
NC: Let's not waste any time. Let's jump right into it with Batman.
(The logo of What You Never Knew About Batman is shown with the Batman logo. This will serve as the background image as the numbers countdown. The number 16 is shown first)
NC (vo): The editorial cartoonist mocks Alexander Knox for his story about Batman, but did you ever notice who that artist was? None other than a young version of the Batman creator himself, Bob Kane. That's right. Knox actually calls Bob Kane a dick.
Knox: What a dick.
NC (vo): That takes balls.
[The number 15 is shown]
NC (vo): A lot of people remember Vicki Vale taking pictures while Batman saves the day. This results in constant flashes during the fight sequence. But did you notice that [Tim] Burton liked this effect so much that he actually uses it again in the opening fight sequence?
[A scene from the opening fight sequence is shown, with a light flashing at one point. That moment is repeated several times]
NC (vo): Despite the fact that there is literally no reason for it whatsoever. What, did he step on a strobe light?
[The number 14 is shown]
NC (vo): Did you ever notice that when Batman turns, his whole body turns with him? That's because the way the mask was set up, it allowed it so that he could never turn his head. Strangely enough, this is something that would stay in every Batman film until The Dark Knight.
[A clip from The Dark Knight is shown]
Lucius Fox: You want to be able to turn your head.
NC (vo): The filmmakers allowed it for so long because it allowed Batman to move totally differently from everybody else, almost giving him a strange, unworldly movement. But, yeah, if you're gonna fight crime, turning your head might be a good idea, too.
[Back to The Dark Knight]
Bruce Wayne: Sure make backing out of the driveway easier.
[The number 13 is shown]
NC (vo): When the film came to VHS, it was actually brightened because too many people complained it was too hard to see what was going on. Because of this, we see a little too much this time around, including the driver's hand on the steering wheel of what's supposed to be a self-driving Batmobile.
Joker: You idiot!
[The number 12 is shown]
NC (vo): The art museum was a parody of the Guggenheim Museum. Don't believe me? It's only two letters off. Though I think some of this artwork might be reprints. Many of them have alterations that are suddenly gone in the next scene.
Joker: We mustn't compare ourselves to regular people. We're artists.
[The number 11 is shown]
NC (vo): Bruce obviously obsesses over the death of his parents, but he finds other ways to keep his spirit alive, including a portrait of his father hanging in the back. And yes, it's a painting of the same actor who played him later on. What? No love for his mom?
Bruce Wayne: Shut up.
[The number 10 is shown]
NC (vo): Vicki Vale arrives in the movie after taking photos from the Corto Maltese.
Boss: You could get hurt doing this stuff.
NC (vo): Corto Maltese is an actual location in the DC Universe, apparently carrying quite a gruesome history and is even the host of one of LexCorps' labs. Maybe that's what caused such a disturbing image.
Joker: I don't know if it's art, but I like it.
[The number 9 is shown]
NC (vo): That Bat Belt is great for holding weapons, but not the best as an actual functioning belt. When Batman finishes blowing up the Joker's headquarters, you'll notice it drops just as he turns. You could practically hear the cartoon sound effect every time it happens.
[The moment where Batman's belt drops a bit is played with a cartoon sound effect]
NC (vo): But what the hell do you care? The shot is so fucking awesome, you probably never noticed.
Joker: Into the air, Junior Birdman! Missed me!
[The number 8 is shown]
NC (vo): Most of us remember this intro of Billy Dee Williams as Harvey Dent, a man who would go on to get his face splashed with acid, transforming him into a disfigured Tommy Lee Jones. But many don't notice that this is also hinting that Bruce Wayne is often away doing his crimefighting job. [An empty seat reserved for Bruce Wayne is shown] Clearly, this is where he would've sat if he wasn't kicking ass. But, hey, at least his money is going to a good cause.
Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones): It's driving us insane!
NC (vo): Well...for now.
[The number 7 is shown. A scene shows the Joker getting down from a parade float, with an arrow pointing to the bottom, showing the Joker is using one of his henchmen as a stepping stone]
NC (vo): [Laughs] I love that.
[The number 6 is shown]
NC (vo): After his reveal that the Joker has poisoned many of Gotham's beauty products, you'll notice that the newscaster stopped wearing makeup and hairspray. Either that or the Joker's TV finally upgraded to HD.
[The Joker uses his gun to blow up the television. The number 5 is shown]
NC (vo): Joker says he needs transportation for two in 10 minutes.
Joker: Gotham City Cathedral. Transportation for two.
Henchman: Right away, sir.
Joker: Five minutes.
Henchman: Five minutes?
[Joker looks up to the top of the cathedral]
Joker: Better make it 10.
NC (vo): Believe it or not, this takes place in real time. 10 minutes of screen footage goes by before the helicopter shows up. No wonder the climb up the stairs seemed to take forever.
Vicki Vale: I don't know who you think you are.
[The number 4 is shown]
NC (vo): Why the hell did he take that helicopter, anyway? Wouldn't it make more sense if he just got in the car and drove away, or was a giant flying machine with his face on it much more inconspicuous?
[Policemen are shown at the bottom of the cathedral]
Policeman #1: [Voiced by NC] Sir, what do we do?
Policeman #2: [Also voiced by NC] Why not follow the only helicopter in the sky with the Joker's face on it and see where it goes?
Policeman #1: Naw! That would make as much sense as stopping the Joker during the parade.
[The number 3 is shown]
NC (vo): Why didn't they stop the Joker during the parade? He literally announces to everyone what night he's going to show up and what he's going to do.
[An arrow points to a policeman in a bar with a caption saying, "Um...Crime going on, Officer."]
NC (vo): Okay, he doesn't give the location, but I think a giant parade float playing Prince could probably be spotted pretty fast. By the way, if you're wondering where the hell he got all that money, the original cut had it where it was all counterfeit with his face right dead in the middle, except only giving this line all new relevance.
Vicki Vale: What do you want?
Joker: (creepy beat) My face on the one dollar bill.
NC (vo): He-hey! Way to give an idea for killing hundreds, Vicki Vale...bitch.
[The number 2 is shown]
NC (vo): A lot of people remember the iconic Batman symbol. It was in the intro of the movie and even replaced the title for both the poster and the trailer. But would you believe that's not the symbol that's on Batman's chest?
[The real symbol on Batman's chest is shown, with a "Ta-Da!" sound effect. Arrows point at the bottom of the symbol]
NC (vo): What the fuck are those things? It almost looks like it's suffering from some sort of weird erectile dysfunction. Badass titties... Ew.
[Various posters of all the other actors who played Batman in film are shown]
NC (vo): You'll also notice that while the Batsuit looks pretty clean and badass in newer films, the original was a bit more grungy and dirty. Sometimes, the ears didn't even go all the way up. Heck, just look at the belt...well, we covered that.
Batman: I know you did.
[The number 1 is shown]
NC (vo): And the Number 1 Thing You Never Knew About Batman is...Bruce Wayne remembers a young Jack Napier being his parents' killer when he freezes on a picture of him. But if he literally just moved a few papers to the left, you would've noticed that his mugshot was staring him right in the face the whole time. Yep, they called the actor who played young Jack back in just so they could put in this awesome little detail. It goes by so fast, you'd miss it almost as quickly as Bruce did, adding to the tragedy of the events, but also the certainly that Bruce memory didn't deceive him. Well, that's good, or else this would've just been confusing.
Batman: You killed my parents.
[Batman punches the Joker, then it suddenly jump-cuts to the Joker falling to his death]
NC: Are there any more that you noticed? Are there any other little details worth speaking about? Well, bring them up in the comments below and keep talking about a movie that's definitely worth talking about. I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. [Gets up and leaves, then suddenly comes back, dressed as Batman] And I'm Batman!
[The credits roll]