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Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

Enjoy Batman in a four-film retrospective

In this era of superhero flicks, it's hard to remember a time when such characters were pretty much a joke. Especially Batman, who in the 1960s was a cartoonish oaf played by Adam West.

Tim Burton changed all that. His 1989 reimagining of the character, starring Michael Keaton as Batman and Jack Nicholson as The Joker, was heavily influenced by Frank Miller's 1986 graphic novel "The Dark Knight Returns."

Of course, compared to where Christopher Nolan would take the series, Burton's version now seems almost quaint (especially when compared to Heath Ledger's depiction of The Joker).

Still, Burton deserves credit. And I still prefer Keaton's interpretation of Batman. In any event, you can judge for yourself at 1 p.m. on Saturday when Burton's "Batman" will screen at the Regal Cinemas theater at Coeur d'Alene's Riverstone Stadium 14.

Note: The film will play ONLY in Coeur d'Alene

The screening is the opening in a four-film retrospective celebrating the 80th anniversary of the character. Other showings (all at Riverstone Stadium): 7 p.m. Monday, "Batman Returns"; 1 p.m. May 12, "Batman Forever"; 7 p.m. May 14th, "Batman & Robin."

To cheer us all up, here are a few of my favorite lines from Burton's film:

The Joker: "Tell me something, my friend. You ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?"

The Joker: "Where does he get those wonderful toys?"

The Joker: "Never rub another man's rhubarb."

Batman: "I'm Batman." (Even Christian Bale couldn't say it better.)