Sunday, June 19, 2005

Batman Begins Anew

Batman Begins as good a movie as I hoped it would be. Usually when i walk out of a theatre these days, I feel cheated out of ten bucks. Movies that defy the viewer to actually think are the norm for Hollywood these days, so, in that context, and in the light of most of the recent slew of comic books (I've heard, from a reliable source, that Fantastic Four is a beautiful pile of shit), the new Batman is not only sucessful, but one of the best movies of the last few years.

The movie starts off strangely. The first half hour tells the classic backstory intersped between a series of fight and training sequences. We start to understand Bruce Wayne in a way the other films barely touched on. Sure, he's grieving, sure, he's depressed. But what's he doing about it? Oh, kicking ass. Okay. I can support that.

The look and feel of this movie is top-notch and sold me almost immediatly. The breathtaking mountain sequences, the futuristic Gotham City, the dim dojo darkness. The creepy darkness instilled an uneasy sense of dread in me which got stronger and stronger as the main story unfolded and this new Gotham revealed itself to be a throwback to New York City in the eighties, with the rich in their penthouse apartments and the poor in backalleys huddled around trashcans.

The main villains are equally inspired. Good choices all around and some wonderful, frightening, imagery. The fight sequences are strong and, after watching the distracted fight direction in Episode III, it was a breathe of fresh air.

Obviously, the acting was strong. The best in any comic book movie, ever. Christian Bale is perfect as a real life two-face, although his whispered "Batman" voice feels a little forced. Michael Caine, Morgran Freeman, and especially Gary Oldman all show up and actually act, instead of just smiling for the camera and collecting their paychecks. The weakest link is definitely Katie Holmes, a comptentent actress who gets totally outshined amidst her betters.

Overall, a brilliant display of virtouous directing, writing, and cinematography. With much props to the production designers. I'm buying this DVD.


Anonymous said...

(i'll probably post on it later.)


Elad said...

yes! you should!

the fact that it meets your approval makes me like it even more. it was totally inspired. even pseudo-based on Year One and Dark Knight Returns, it felt totally fresh.

How cool was "The Narrows" ??

Stinger said...

I saw "Batman Begins" last night and LOVED it. I'm totally with you on all of your comments. The one part of the movie that annoyed me was Katie Holmes' character ... as a huge "Dawson's Creek" fan I adore her. But her character was so damn fickle ... first, Rachel hates Bruce for being a rich playboy who wastes his life. Then when she finds out he's Batman, she says the man she loved is dead. Who is that man? The one she slapped (twice) in the car? The rich wet playboy fresh from a swim in the hotel fountain?

I can buy into it if she thinks she is giving up Bruce for a greater cause, but I don't think that's it. She wants a man who never existed, when the man she should by all rights love and respect is standing right infront of her. What a team they would make. But alas!

That said, the movie KICKED ASS!

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