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Batman – Mask of the Phantasm

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Batman - Mask of the Phantasm
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Unmasking the Phantasm is just one of the twists in Batman: Mask of Phantasm. Only here will you discover all-new revelations about Batman’s past, his arch-rival the Joker and the most grueling battle of Batman’s life — the choice between his love of a beautiful woman and his vow to be the defender of right.

Synopsis of  Batman — Mask of the Phantasm

While a gang war is causing civilian casualties in Gotham, and the bodies are starting to pile up, Batman has to deal with a new costumed crimefighter, The Phantasm — who believes in vengeance first, and has no compunction against murdering criminals. At the same time, Bruce Wayne is facing his own crisis — as he falls in love, and is considering giving up the cowl.

Review of  Batman – Mask of the Phantasm

In a very serious way,  Batman – Mask of the Phantasm is one of my favorite Batman movies, even above the live-action Christopher Nolan movies.  Because it deals with the human being behind the mask, early in his career as Batman, who truly falls in love.  Deeply, truly in love, so much so that he’s torn between the sacred vow he’s made on the grave of his parents, and the possibility of actually having a life that he can share with the woman he loves.  In a nutshell, the true conflict of the movie comes down to the following quote:

It doesn’t mean I don’t care anymore. I don’t want to let you down, honest, but —  but it just doesn’t hurt so bad anymore. You can understand that, can’t you? Look, I can give money to the city — they can hire more cops. Let someone else take the risk, but it’s different now! Please! I need it to be different now. I know I made a promise, but I didn’t see this coming. I didn’t count on being happy. Please! Tell me that it’s okay.

Heart of the story

It’s very touching and almost heart-breaking. There’s the more traditional conflict, with a gang war, the masked Phantasm killing mob bosses, and the Joker having been hired by the gangsters — but for my money, this is the heart of the conflict; and it makes the conclusion even sadder.

I strongly recommend  Batman – Mask of the Phantasm, and I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did.

Movie quotes from Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

Alfred Pennyworth (Efrem Zimbalist Jr.): Vengeance blackens the soul, Bruce. I’ve always feared that you would become that which you fought against. You walk the edge of that abyss every night, but you haven’t fallen in and I thank heaven for that.

[Alfred sees Batman in costume for the first time]
Alfred Pennyworth (Efrem Zimbalist Jr.): My … God!

The Phantasm (Stacy Keach): Sal Valestra, your Angel of Death awaits …

The Joker (Mark Hamill): All right, I give in. I surrendered already. Tell her, Batman.
Batman (Kevin Conroy): [Panting] Andrea, you’ve got to … get out of here! The whole place is set to … explode!
Andrea Beaumont (Dana Delany): No. One way or another it ends tonight. Goodbye, my love.

Corrupt politician

Police Commissioner James Gordon: (Bob Hastings): He didn’t do it! It’s garbage, Councilman! The Batman does not kill. You want him, you get him! I’ll have no part in it.

[while Reeves is trying to resist the effects of Joker’s toxin, Batman appears in his hospital room]
Arthur Reeves (Hart Bochner): [gasps, then giggles helplessly] Oh, no!
Batman (Kevin Conroy): Why did the Joker meet with you?
[Reaves keeps giggling]
Batman (Kevin Conroy): It has to do with the gangster murders, doesn’t it? He thinks you’re involved. WHY?
Arthur Reeves (Hart Bochner): [giggling] I don’t know!
Batman (Kevin Conroy): [grabs him] That’s not the answer I want!
[Reaves manages to calm down]
Arthur Reeves (Hart Bochner): Beaumont needed me to help him and his kid get out of town …
[starts to giggle again]
Arthur Reeves (Hart Bochner): He kept in touch.
Batman (Kevin Conroy): When was the last time you spoke to him?
Arthur Reeves (Hart Bochner): Years ago, my first election campaign. I was running out of money and I asked him for help …
Arthur Reeves (Hart Bochner): He said no!
Batman (Kevin Conroy): So you sold him to the mob.
Arthur Reeves (Hart Bochner): [now laughing hysterically] I was broke! Desperate! They said all they wanted was their money back!
[he collapses with laughter, as Batman leaves in disgust]

Bruce and Andrea

[at Andrea’s mother’s grave]
Andrea Beaumont (Dana Delany): So, tell me … with all that money and power, how come you always look like you want to jump off a cliff?
Bruce Wayne (Kevin Conroy): Why do you care?
Andrea Beaumont (Dana Delany): I don’t. Mom was asking.

Batman (Kevin Conroy): Do you still follow your dad’s orders?
Andrea Beaumont (Dana Delany): The way I see it, the only one in this room controlled by his parents is you.

[Bruce proposes to Andrea]
Andrea Beaumont (Dana Delany): I never thought this would happen. I always felt like … like I’d thrown you a curve ball, like you never knew what to do with me, because I wasn’t in ‘The Plan’
Bruce Wayne (Kevin Conroy): You are now. I’m changing the Plan.

Batman (Kevin Conroy): Your father’s dead, isn’t he? You came into town early to get Chuckie Sol, so you could shift the blame to your father if necessary.
Andrea Beaumont (Dana Delany): They took everything, Bruce. My father, my friends, my life, you. I’m not saying it’s right, or even sane but it’s all I have left! So either help me, or get out of the way!
Batman (Kevin Conroy): You know I can’t do that.
Andrea Beaumont (Dana Delany): Look what they did to us! What we could have had! They had to pay!
Batman (Kevin Conroy): But Andy — what will vengeance solve?
Andrea Beaumont (Dana Delany): If anyone knows the answer to that, Bruce, it’s you.
[silent pause]
Batman (Kevin Conroy): Leave, Andy, now. Please.

[last lines]
Partygoer: Quite a sight.
Andrea Beaumont (Dana Delany): Yes.
Partygoer: I … I’m sorry, did you want to be alone?
Andrea Beaumont (Dana Delany): I am.

Trivia for Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

  • Andrea Beaumont was allegedly named after casting and vocal supervisor Andrea Romano, whom star Kevin Conroy occasionally teased.
  • The dummy corporations “O’Neil Funding Corp.” and “Adams Tool and Die ” shown on Batman’s computer screen are references to Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams, respective writer and artist for Batman comics circa 1969. Their somber, camp-free stories have been called “ground-breaking” and are considered a major turning point for DC Comics’ Batman titles, which Denny O’Neil currently edits and oversees.
  • Also seen on the computer screen are the names “Puckett & Peterson.”  This is a reference to Kelley Pucket and Scott Peterson, writer and editor of comic books based on the Batman (1992) animated series, including the comic adaptations of both this movie and Subzero (1998).
  • Was originally intended to be the finale of Batman (1992).
  • Most of the movie is based on the graphic novels ‘Batman: Year One’ and ‘Batman: Year Two’.
  • The character of Arthur Reeves originated in the comics. In “Half-an-Evil”, Arthur Reeves was a short-lived comic relief who had a bone to pick with the Batman.
  • When the Joker shoots the robots in the World’s Fair, the sound of them winding down is the sound of the Millennium Falcon winding down from Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back (1980).
  • The end credit song, “I Never Even Told You”, is a rare singing performance by Tia Carrere.
  • The construction site scene mirrors a similar sequence in ‘Batman: Year One’, where a rookie Batman is pursued into a tenement building by a crooked Gotham SWAT team, which Batman barely escapes.

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