The Bat Is Back! [Review on "Batman Begins"]

I can’t begin to express how overjoyed I am for the ressurection of the Batman franchise which made it’s last fall from grace with that spunky Clooney spoof. Christian Bale is not only the right man for the role, but enough to pull a failed franchise from the grave. His most notable appearances in film have made him already a cult figure through “Equilibrium” and “American Psycho.”

Thankfully, the movie touched on the subject of fear, utilizing the Scarecrow character which I had desperately desired to see in a Batman film for many years. You would almost think that the number of all-star actors in this movie is more or less a back-up to boost the credibility of the film in case the plot wasn’t good enough to pull the franchise from the grave.

Although Liam Neeson was in the movie, I did have higher expectations of the portrayl for the character of Ra’s Al Guhl. If anyone ever watched the Batman animated series, they would recognize this character being much more than how he is portrayed in the new movie. Not to mention the powerful and trademark voice of David Warner who gave much substance to the character in the animated series. In case nobody knows who David Warner is…he is one of those B-List actors who you would recognize his look and voice but never really remember him to save your life. Look him up…there is bound to be something you’ve seen him in.

There is a scene where Scarecrow “gets a taste of his own medicine” and we get to see this freaky image of Batman that wonderfully nails the objective of the director to give the image of Batman being a demonic spirit. It’s almost comical in a sense of the extremity that Bale takes this character to when he talks to criminals with a booming demonic voice.

Of course, Bale does a great job at having to play three roles in the film. Batman, Bruce Wayne the man, and Bruce Wayne the drunken billionaire playboy. It’s interesting how we never saw Micheal Keaton, who being a brilliant comedian, never touched on this aspect of Bruce Wayne in the original film - because I’m sure he would have executed it wonderfully.

After leaving the theatre, I scurried about the local Walmart around 1:00 AM searching for the movie soundtrack for “Batman Begins” and to my dismay found not one copy. Oh sure, the Walmart had plenty of Sith soundtracks, but no Batman.

The soundtrack complemented the movie’s clever plot movement although not as prancing and grandiose as Elfman’s 1989 “Batman.” Hanz Zimmer teamed up with James Newton Howard (who the fuck is that, you might say) to produce the appropriate score. Howard had done composition work for notable Shayamalan movies - “The Village,” “Signs,” and “Unbreakable.” He also did “The Devil’s Advocate.” I don’t have to explain Zimmer’s work though…but I’ll just say “Gladiator” and leave it at that.

I’d say more…but…I’ve said too much already.

If you give a damn about the Batman franchise, this is a movie you can’t miss.

I have not seen the film yet, but I have heard similar high praise from another friend of mine.

It is disappointing to hear that you found the depiction of Ra’s Al Guhl underwhelming. I too developed an appreciation for that character from the Batman Animated series and was looking forward to seeing him in film.

I loved it!

The movie was serious. It pretended that this could in some way happen. I enjoyed how something like the Bat Cave had a reasonable explanation. By this I mean that one got to the Bat Cave via an old elevator, rather than by some kind of turbo lift or whatever. Also, the Bat Cave had a reason for being there and so forth.

Personally, I would have liked to see the Bat suit depicted as being a kind of powered exo-skeleton, but that would have been taking something away from the character.

Overall, I bet that even a non-comic book fan would enjoy the picture. It was great summer fun.

On a side note, what will happen when Michael Cain and Morgan Freeman die? They make everything great. Cloning makes sense.

Batman… hey what are your favourite mangas/anime guys? YoYoHakoshu or DragonBallZed? Both are million times better than Batman anyway… but of course, nothing compares with RPGs and shoot-them-ups… man this rejuvenation feels good!

Batman doesn’t have any super-powers… where do you get off comparing him to the likes of Goku anyway? How about a Batman RPG? It could work.

While Dragonball Z focuses half it’s time on super-beings waving their finger to cause explosions big enough to annihilate a planet, Batman has intrigue.

… I have a feeling that I should wisely retreat now - a professional is front! :slight_smile:

You must see Batman. It is an incredibly well made film.

Everything that you could hope for in a superior production is present in this movie. You will see top notch acting by Christian Bale in every aspect of the lead character. Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine are spectacular, primarily playing themselves as irascible old men in their respective roles. They make the perfect backup for Batman. Gary Oldman has a surprising low key role in the part of policeman Jim Gordon. The filmmakers beautifully establish the wonderful disappearing act that Batman uses on Gordon that had also been used to great effect on Batman the Animated Series. Cillian Murphy brings a meticulous creepy physicality to the character of Dr. Jonathan Crane. Tom Wilkinson creates a very effective and delightfully greasy crimeboss as Carmine Falcone.

This is primarily the story of a lost soul and his journey to become a whole man. We meet Bruce in desperate circumstances, imprisoned in some unnamed Asian country. There he is offered an unexpected path to personal redemption. In choosing to follow that path he goes past the expectations of his teachers when they unlock a potential that is beyond their power to control. We see the inner birth of Batman before even Bruce fully understands what he will become.

We get to see Bruce triumph and falter as he learns to become Batman. The audience has an opportunity to identify with the hero that has been wholly and sorely lacking in recent Batman movies.

One minor gripe I have is that towards the very end there was a harsh reminder that this movie is part of a franchise. We see the heavy handed hint that the Joker will be the next major villain in the series. This was one of the least sophisticated scenes in the movie.

This will certainly be one of the tops movies of the years and it is a must see at the mutiplex to get the full theaterical experience.

Thank God they finally made a good Batman film that did a bit of justice to Miller’s Dark Knight. Sooper-Dooper.

Xanderman,

I loved the Joker thing and how Gordon explained it.
If they put out the sequel tomorrow I would go and see it. I don’t mind a franchise as long as it’s a good one. I know what you mean though.

HELL(O) F(R)IEND(S)

I was a bit dissapointed with the Batman Begins movie as a whole; however, there were parts of the movie that were gems and make it more than worthwhile to watch–especially for Batman fans.

The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly things about Batman Begins

The good: Cillian Murphy was an excellent casting selection to play Dr. Crane who’s character is chilling despite the facade of professionalism and courtesy that masks his inner demons. Needless to say, the actor’s appearance (make up + actual looks) blends well with his portrayal of the character. The Bad: The character should have played a much more prominent role. The Ugly: There was no ugly, I wanted to see more of Cillian Murphy’s character.

The Good: Childhood of Batman broadened. I enjoyed watching the childhood develop, the interaction between young Bruce and the father. We also understand how the child developed a fear he must conquer and the guilt that he endures. Also, the death of the parents gives a different direction than the one that is portrayed in the first Batman movie which was necessary to future franchise movies. The Bad: The child portraying Bruce Wayne had a difficult task of portraying his fear, his loss, his pain, his anger. In my opinion, the child failed to do a credible job. The Ugly: Perhaps it was this failure that helped the writers/producers decide to leave out more of Batman’s subsequent years after the parents’ deaths (which I thought were skipped over a bit too much).

The Good: Bruce Wayne’s parents, in particular the father, were very good to see. The casting of the father was very good and the actor made us care for him and believe in him as a loving father. The Bad: The mother’s role was completely irrelevant; in fact, she is barely visible as a mother. There was too much emphasis on the father’s role in Bruce Wayne’s childhood which led to the exclusion of the mother’s role. The Ugly: The portrayal of the the parents as philanthropists that nearly went bankrupt helping the people of Gotham city was a bit insulting in that I thought it idealized the parents as overly socially conscious. It wasn’t necessary despite it is later tied to a subtheme with Ra’s Al Guhl.

The Good: Gary Oldman performed well as policeman Jim Gordon. He is typically asked to play outlandish/bizarre roles (think Fifth Element or Leon: The Professional). However, his underperformance was welcomed. The Bad: The character’s initial indifference to his partner’s ventures was a bit dissapointing. The Ugly: At best, it was indifference… however, his notion that he is “no rat” was disturbing in that it contributes to making the policeman weak and in itself corrupt.

The Good: Carmine Falcone was played very well by actor Tom Wilkinson. The Bad: Falcone was given aura of a big-time mover and shaker but his role fades from the prominence it was given in the early part of the fim. The Ugly: The character’s effectiveness was diminished by how easily he is brought down. I think he was brought down far too easily and he is removed far too easily.

The Good: Christian Bale as Batman, Confused Bruce, and Playboy Bruce. All three performances are brilliant. He has an intangible quality that allows him to be charming yet disturbing (ala American Psycho). The character is developed very well and we understand from whence his mercy for criminals comes. His interactions with all the characters is a shinning example of making the best from your screen time. There is no bad or ugly with this bat.

On the other hand, there is no good, no bad, and ONLY ugly when it comes to Katie Holmes’ character. In my opinion she is there to attract a young female audience that followed her from her old WB days. Katie Holmes who plays the idealistic, positive female role… she is lifeless and we almost wished she dies so that Batman has yet another psychologically challenging aspect returning into his life…

Overall, the movie was a bit dissapointing but Bale’s performance alone is worth the price/time.

Gary Oldman I thought that he was going to play scarecrow! Strange to see him as Gordon, but any way I liked him. The guy that did play scarecrow was very good and has quite an odd face.

By the way, I thought that it was amusing that all the main actors are really British! Bale, Oldman, Cain, and I saw some actors from a movie called Layer Cake and none of them are American. I guess it take a Brit to play a good American!

Thanks for the BR reviews, Sagesound and xanderman! :smiley:

I plan to see this film sometime this week. I have been a fan of Christian Bale’s acting for a long time. I am also looking forward to seeing Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman in this film.

The only gripe I have about this film is the presence of Katie Holmes, who can’t act her way out of a paper bag. Why does she continue to get acting work?

I’m almost 30 and still don’t understand her appeal. :confused:

I must apologize for never mentioning Holmes in my first post…as I was so excited with the movie as a whole…

Her role in Dawson’s Creek has forever tainted her entire filmographic career! I don’t know what sick people think of her as being attractive because I never did. Her presence in Batman Begins dropped the movie’s total goodness from four stars to three and a half. The biggest upsetting factor to follow this up is that she plays a character that has no existence in any of the comic series… That being said, I hope we see less of her in the coming sequel.

Something to note about sequels… Burton’s 1989 Batman was a landmark film for many reasons - one of them being wonderful character development in the plot. Nicholson’s Joker was given the appropriate screen time to develop the antagonist of the story to the fullest extreme. I always wondered why this technique was never used for Batman Returns and following films. Even now with Batman Begins, we have Scarecrow and Ra’s Al Ghul. It would have been absolutely wonderful to have had just one of these great characters as the sole antagonist for the film so proper development would be appreciated by the viewer.

Of course, we now know what will happen for the sequel…

Either one of two possibilities:

A. The sequel to Batman Begins will feature Scarecrow and Joker.

B. The sequel to Batman Begins will feature Scarecrow, Joker, and someone else we haven’t seen yet in motion film…Clayface for example.

The rumor is that Warner’s is looking for a more talented actress to star in the sequel. The other rumor is that the Joker will have a part in the sequel.

I hope to see it this weekend. Maybe early next week . . . :confused:

HELL(O) F(R)IEND(S)

Now that it has been two weekends… Why is it that a microwave emiter capable of vaporizing water in pipes doesn’t vaporize the blood in the people in the immediate area? What about those on the train with this apparatus?

Again, the movie was very, very good… almost great. Almost. Still the best Batman movie.

Yes, I thought the same thing. However, sometimes it is best to not worry about such things. Did you know that blood is almost exactly like sea water? Maybe it was just tuned to fresh water!

They better put the Joker in the next one! I can’t wait.

I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt on the (somewhat) targeted effect of the microwave emitter. What gets me is why he picked the solution he did rather than trying to just break the emitter itself. How well build was that machine? What made it so that he could not have just broken it?

Why did it blow up with a fireball? Was it gas powered? I guess that it could have been.

Oh well, I was just happy that the villain had complex motives.

If the Fantastic Four is good I may soil myself in the theater! I heard that if it is they may make a movie with Galactus and the Silver Surfer. I have been waiting for about thirty years.