Baldwin: Celebrating Batman and the Duke

Greetings, good citizens and cinephiles of Winchester!

Courage does not come easy. Courage stems from action out of moral obligation to do the right thing, even when it may be the hardest thing.

True courage is birthed by a person displaying integrity, doing the right thing even when no one is watching, sacrificing personal want for other’s needs, and driven to excel in all you do each time you are tasked with a difficult situation to rectify.

This weekend releases a few classic films that see our main character face adversity and test their courage.

Filmmaker Tim “Sleepy Hollow” Burton’s “Batman” (1989) sees our favorite crime fighting caped crusader, Michael “Beetlejuice” Keaton embark in battle against the clownish, deformed homicidal criminal mastermind, the Joker, portrayed by Jack “Mars Attacks” Nicholson.

Having witnessed his parent’s brutal murder as a child, Batman soldiers on to come to grips with his trauma, fighting to save Gotham from the Joker and his evil henchmen, protecting his true identity, and balancing his personal life with new love interest, reporter Vicki Vale, Kim “L.A. Confidential” Basinger, when he is not moonlighting in Gotham as the Dark Knight as the masked crimefighter. Burton’s Batman is known for its darkness and styles influenced by Gothic architecture and German expressionism which was the opposite of the colorful, lighthearted camp of the 60s Batman TV series.

“Batman” will be presented by Fathom Events in celebration of the film’s 30th anniversary of its release. Show times are 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday at the Regal in Hamburg and Cinemark at Fayette Mall.

Burton and Keaton return to the silver screens with “Batman Returns” (1992) as this dark tale sees the caped crimefighter who does battle to protect Gotham and himself from the sensuous Catwoman, Michelle “Dark Shadows” Pfeiffer, the nasty sewer residing crime boss the Penguin, Danny “Dumbo” DeVito, and corrupt businessman Max Shreck, Christopher “The Dead Zone” Walken.

This entry to the Batman franchise at the time was deemed too dark for kiddies as it was violent and had a more mature tone in terms of violence and sexuality. This film has aged well and fits in well with superhero movies that showcase these mature elements every two weeks upon their release.

“Batman Returns” will be presented by Fathom Events in celebration of the 80-year anniversary of the creation of the beloved crimefighter.

Show times are 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Monday at the Regal in Hamburg and Cinemark at Fayette Mall.

“True Grit” (1969) is the award-winning action western starring the legendary John “Rio Bravo” Wayne as the drunken, cantankerous U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn, who is hired by a headstrong, feisty young girl Mattie, Kim Darby, to track down the killer of her beloved father.

As the odd couple set out on their journey to avenge Mattie’s father’s death in the name of justice, they are joined by gung-ho Texas Ranger La Boeuf, Glen “Rhinestone Cowboy” Campbell, to assist in the manhunt of Chaney, Robert “The Godfather” Duvall, who killed Mattie’s pa and a Texas senator.

This event includes exclusive insight from Turner Classic Movies in honor of the film’s 50th anniversary.

“True Grit” show times are 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday and 12 p.m. and 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Regal in Hamburg and Cinemark at Fayette Mall.

John Wayne and I leave you with this as you go about your day, “Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.”

Have a film-tastic day.

Rick Baldwin is a writer, filmmaker and film/music historian. He is president of the Winchester-Clark County Film Society. Find more from Rick on Facebook. He is on Twitter @rickbaldwin79  and can be reached by email at rickbaldwiniii@hotmail.com.