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|Index||2587 reviews in total|
34 out of 59 people found the following review useful:
Eat your heart out, Schumacher !!, 16 June 2005
Author: Seif from Cairo, Egypt
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Finally, A movie that pulls a franchise with excellent potential out of
the swamps of "Joel Schumacherism"!! This could well be one of the best
(if not THE best) movies ever. It has all the elements of a successful
movie, and comic adaptation as well. The beauty of this movie is that
it is as realistic as.. I dunno... reality! let's just break this down:
1) Characters: I couldn't have imagined a better Wayne than Keaton, but
after I've seen Bailey he completely disappointed me, because I kept
betting he'd suck as Bruce Wayne.. he didn't... Absolutely brilliant
this kid is. Gordon (Gary Oldman) is as great as ever -although a bit
under-nourished. Michael Caine was just born to be Alfred, Ducard (Liam
Neeson) was legend and Watanabe, even with a small role, flying him all
the way from China was worth the effort.. and Cillian... oooh Cillian
just blew my head off with his performance, I don't think we could have
seen the Scarecrow on screen better than we did here (although I missed
the ragged costume and the hay and all).
2) Gotham City: Forget all about Schumacher's "City of Light"... also forget about Burton's Gotham "Dark even at day" city. This is Gotham as it should have always been, the big rotten apple... pretty and shiny on the outside, but rotting and full of maggots on the inside.
3) Christopher Nolan: Need I say more? anyone who's seen his previous work will know what they're up against. Great camera work, Psychotic motion effects. Pure art if I might say.
that's about it... I could have gone on forever but I'd rather leave it here and let you guys see this masterpiece that brought the DC world back to kick major Marvel behind.
58 out of 107 people found the following review useful:
What's Left When the Magic and Fun is Gone, 19 August 2006
Author: Raashanui from United States
This new take on Batman just doesn't seem to work quite right. Nolan tries to basically get Shakespearean with the character and completely ignore the first four films. In some ways that works but in other ways it veers off into a Batman universe that makes no sense and becomes basically a movie that seems like he's attempting to have Batman seem more realistic to being like a person in our real universe. This is where Nolan fails. The magic and fun of Batman evaporates quickly. A man dressing up as a bat and fighting crime has a humorous element to it that Nolan completely ignores with this incarnation and everyone in this universe acts really dumb about it and their reactions to it make little sense especially Gordon's character. A lot of what Gordon does lacks logical sense and he never seems to really question the mental state of the person he first sees dressed as a bat. He's portrayed like some idiot willing to eventually put complete trust in someone he knows practically nothing about running around in a bat suit. His reasons for being so trusting are never clear. Does he know something everyone else doesn't? Bale's performance was pretty average but not as compelling as Keaton or Kilmer. He also tries to have a Batman voice that sounds ridiculous. The only reason for this film's critical success is that it struck a cord with the comic book fan die hards. It certainly didn't do that impressive box office numbers. Now with news that Nolan is going to present The Joker in a sequel, I see a potential disaster waiting to happen.
104 out of 199 people found the following review useful:
heavily overrated, 21 June 2005
quote. When I heard they were making another Batman movie that explored
the origins of Batman with promises of a much better conceived
portrayal of the dark knight, I was very excited. Then, when I heard
that Christian Bale who's famous for his dark and sinister characters
in "American Psycho" and "The Machinist", was going to play Batman, I
got even more excited. Then, the announcement that Christopher Nolan of
"Memento" fame was picked to direct it, and I was almost certain this
film was to not only be the best Batman movie in the franchise, but the
best film of the year! Then I saw it.
Needless to say, I was a little disappointed. The movies seemed to fall flat in a number of places. For starters, let's begin with direction. With Christopher Nolan in the drivers seat, I kind of expected a tight, clever plot with a less formulaic film style then what was presented. Sure, I mean Nolan had to stick with the script that was given to him and not tamper with the story of Batman. But I felt that the story could have been better displayed. The action scenes in the movie were too quick and flashy, leaving the characters on the screen virtually indistinguishable from one another. What I took away from the film was that it was loud and there were a lot of flashy action sequences where apparently something happened. The film seems to move too quick in some areas and too slow in others. I mean, was the entire process of becoming Batman completely necessary. At least the previous films left some sense of mystery of who Bruce Wayne was and where he got his bat gadgets. I mean, who really cares when it comes down to it? It took away from the plot of Batman Begins.
Let's talk about the acting - subpar at best. Hollywood actors should have to have licences to act then Katie Holmes should have hers revoked for her role as a Assistant DA. She was about as convincing as an attorney as Denise Richards was as a nuclear scientist in that stupid James Bond movie. She was supposed to play Bruce Wayne's (Bale) love interest but the on screen chemistry between the two is laughable. Bale's acting was OK, but not like anything we've seen him do in the past. I think if he portrayed Bruce Wayne more like his psychologically tormented character Trevor Reznik in "The Machinist", we would have had a better movie on our hands.
All in all, this movie wasn't anything special. It was your typical Hollywood formula, good guy versus bad guy, special effects extravaganza with no real value at all.
A very forgettable film with bad acting, unnecessary scenes, poor direction and a penchant for overkilling the point. Yes, we understand Bruce Wayne doesn't like bats, and he has to overcome his fear and bring justice to the city of Gotham and yadayada.....blahhhhhhhhh! This oversimplified account of the story of Batman should have been given a different title - "Batman for dummies and for people that like things that go vrooom and boooooom!" In its defense, however, it was better than that god awful "Batman and Robin". If you really want to watch a good Batman movie, watch the first one. end of quote. the best it can get is 5. I voted 1 just to try to make the result balanced a bit.
117 out of 225 people found the following review useful:
This movie ruined Batman for me, 19 June 2005
Author: bigben5 from Calgary, Canada
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Whether you like this version of Batman or not ultimately depends on
how faithful you are to the classics. I am a huge fan of Batman the
Animated series created by Bruce Timm and Paul Dini, as well as Tim
Burton's Gothic interpretations, not to mention the Dark Knight Returns
by Frank Miller.
Batman to me has always been a tale of how good people fall into sin and how everyone has a dark side. The star of the show isn't Batman himself, but the supporting cast of villains, each committing acts of crime out of revenge or redemption. All of them had a heart and were once human, now trapped in a shell of a monster. The profound thing about it all, was that Batman himself was just as insane as the people he brought in, only he believed he was fighting on the right side of the law. You get none that here. All villains commit random acts of terror, determined to destroy Gotham because they think its a cesspool.
But I think the thing that bugged me the most was how they fundamentally changed Bruce Wayne's character in this movie. In the animated series, he is indeed portrayed as tortured soul but he also comes across as being a highly intelligent and sophisticated man. He was able to take down guys like Superman in Dark Night Returns, simply because he was able to outsmart him and was very resourceful. A key point that they missed in this movie was the inner struggle Bruce Wayne has to want to give it all up and settle down with someone he loves. One of my favorite moments for example, is in Mask of the Phantasam where Bruce Wayne is at his parents grave in a thunder storm, begging them to release him of his vow. He is in love with Andrea and wants to spend the rest of his life with her. He cries and begs for a sign, in which Andrea then shows up and two begin crying in each others arms. Bruce was actually happy. It wasn't until Andrea left him that he accepted his fate as Batman.
This Batman has none of the human qualities from above. He can't laugh at himself and is full of pure anger and rage. He's almost like Spawn. In fact, the parallels are dead similar with him scaring the crap out of his villains before taking them down. Spawn of course is cooler given that he actually gives the bad guys what they deserve by decapitating them limb by limb.
Okay, so let's not compare animation and comics, let's just focus on the film instead. Does it surpass in Tim Burton's movies? Hell no. Sure, Tim Burton didn't have all of the special effects technology that we have today but his twisted imagination allowed him to create a world that was totally Gothic and true to me. I liked the idea of smiling clowns blowing fire from their mouths and monkeys armed with machine guns. The Batman of the past was actually fun to watch as he'd stuff the fiery baton down the jesters throat and pick up two mimes and knock them out by bashing their heads together. It was always the cutest of things doing the evilest of deeds, like the marching penguins in Batman Returns.
Burton was also faithful to the love interests of Bruce Wayne as well. It was always set up like a Greek tragedy with the love of his life being the villain he tried to stop. I also like the old Batman costume, the old batmobile and the old batwing. Michael Keaton also played a much better Batman than Christian Bale in that he always looked cool and in control. In this movie, Bale sounds like he has a frog stuck in his throat whenever he tries to speak and the mask he wears makes his head look a bit too big.
But I think the crushing blow came at the end, when they tried to reintroduce the Joker. I loved Tim Burton's version because the Joker's whole purpose in that movie was to harass Batman, being that he killed his parents and was the one villain who could outsmart him. I hated how they changed that because Batman in reality is just as responsible for putting villains in his own life as they are for fueling his drive for vengeance.
Overall, I have to say that this movie was bad. The fights scenes made no sense whatsoever and were put together by a bunch of stunt men, made up of 60 different takes. It totally blew up everything I came to love and respect about the dark knight and lacked the emotion and humanity of the original series. We didn't need another movie explaining his past, Mask of the Phantasam did a much better job with a lower budget too.
I understand that they want to remake Batman for the new generation of fans but if this is the best they can do, then I'm hopping of this train right now. In the meantime, I'll just stick to the classics to remember Batman in his glory days.
15 out of 22 people found the following review useful:
A great summer blockbuster dark, interesting, exciting and more than an antidote to Schumacher's childish vision of the character, 16 July 2005
Author: bob the moo
Bruce Wayne is not a happy fella. Being trapped in a cave full of bats
as a child left him full of fear, and he can only blame himself for the
death of his parents at the hands of a typical street thug. However
time has perverted this hurt into a bitter, hollow anger that has led
him to the Far East where he fights criminals behind bars, seemingly to
seek to quench his thirst for what he sees as "justice". Taken into a
remote training facility for the League of Shadows by Ducard, Wayne
learns the arts of deception, movement, combat and others but when he
understands that justice is death for this group he leaves and returns
to Gotham City. In his absence, the city has fallen into corruption and
crime and, seeking a symbol of fear for the criminals, Wayne uses his
skills and considerable assets to try and bring down this rule by way
of a vigilante personae The Batman. However, with few allies in this
fight, will he be able to counter more than the smaller fish in the
Although I don't agree with those IMDb users who have put this film into the top 250 ever made, I do see why they did it, because after the decreasing returns of the modern Batman films I was almost relieved that Begins made a massive leap away from the childish mess that Joel Schumacher had produced. Although not perfect, Nolan's Batman is dark where Schumacher's was day-glow; interesting where the other was puerile; exciting where the other was tiresome; this Wayne is a person where the other's was a child's action figure; this film almost stays in the real world where the other was set in some fantasy world that Schumacher must see when he shuts his eyes. So I can see why people love this film so much it is such a massive jump up in quality that it is easy to see it as the greatest film ever made; compared to Batman & Robin this IS Citizen Kane. The plot sounds silly at the start but the structure of flashbacks and desolate reality make you forget of the lack of logic (or even explanation) behind Wayne being in prison. From here the training is swift and exciting while more cuts give us the back-story we already know. Back in Gotham Batman truly begins and the build up is as good as the delivery he is not full of quips, in fact at first he is barely seen. While building the usual "baddie with a big weapon" story the film blends characters, other baddies, themes and action so naturally that it makes it look easy but Schumacher will assure you it is not.
Nolan's direction and the design of the film are big reasons for it working; although the material is fantastic, somehow it all feels like the real world and not like B&R for example. It feels gritty and it makes the characters more real and therefore interesting. Also appreciated is the fact that it is not only dark in visuals but also content. Personally I would have liked Wayne to have been more twisted and confused but what it did was good enough, more important though was how scary bits were the Scarecrow, the paranoid visions, all combined to produce some dark images. Oh, and many thanks to the genius parents who saw this film advertised and thought "hmm, a darker Batman film with a rating for over 12's I know, I'll take my 4 year old to see that"; needless to say several families in my screening will not be aware of the ending of the film who'd have though a 12A would frighten pre-school children? Tossers.
The cast do well with what they have. Bale is a great Batman and I struggled to reconcile the man I saw with the man I saw a few months back in The Machinist. Although the script only gives him basic emotional building blocks and not a real inner struggle, Bale still does well with it and far from being the straightman to Batman's entertainer, his Wayne is the most interesting thing in the film. Neeson makes for a good trainer and his darkly interesting character does enough so that we accept the mythical body he represents. Holmes is OK, pretty good but really I could have coped without her character. Caine is a great choice for Albert and he seems to enjoy it. Freeman may have just followed the Alec Guinness model of taking the payday but he is also enjoyable Q to Bale's Bond (bet they wish their franchise had gotten him first). Murphy is interestingly creepy even before he becomes genuinely scary as his villain. Oldman does less than he is capable of but he is still a good addition ditto with Wilkinson.
Overall this is not one of the best films ever made but it is a great summer movie and, more importantly, it is a massive improvement on the Batman that Schumacher gave us everything that it failed to do, this does well. A worthy blockbuster that is engaging, dark, exciting, scary and fun well worth seeing and probably one of the better blockbusters this year.
7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Frighteningly superb, 15 March 2006
Author: B_a_S_t_A_r_D from United Kingdom
After an excellent film, a great film and two diabolical films, there is finally a brilliant Batman film. Tim Burton's Batman offerings were undeniably superb and eclipsed their follow ups in greatness, but even then there were severe weaknesses in the Batman franchise's transfer from page to the big screen. Burton didn't manage to fully shake Batman's unfortunate "camp crusader" persona that the Dark Knight picked up from the terrible 1960s TV series. Though considerably darker, the high camp, pop art undertones that were never intended in the Batman comics were still present in Burton's films. Then of course, "Batman Forever" and "Batman and Robin" took that to an incredibly unnecessary extreme. Batman was lost. Thank heavens for Christopher Nolan. Obviously as disillusioned with the failing franchise as most of the disgruntled comic book fans, Nolan has managed to not only restore the dark, Gothic ambiance of the comics, but also take Batman to new heights, and "Batman Begins" is far more than a comic book adaptation. For the first time in a Batman movie, Bruce Wayne's introduction and character foundation is so fascinating and emotionally charged, that you are not merely waiting for him to put the Bat suit on for the first time. Being the first chapter chronologically in the Batman saga, Wayne's character pre - bat is essential to the success of the narrative. His motive for wanting to fight injustice and his childhood traumas are told so beautifully that the movie would almost work well enough if the Batman alter ego never came into play. But, of course, when he does, Batman really begins. Christian Bale is quite simply the best Batman audiences have ever had the privilege of viewing. For the first time, Batman really is a symbol of fear, as was the comic's intention. This is all thanks to Bale's flawless performance as the dark Knight. Criminals and do-gooders alike fear Batman. But, frightening as he is, he is just another Superhero in terms of fear when it comes to Cillian Murphy's Scarecrow. With the genius use of hallucinogens to enhance the fear, Scarecrow might just be the most frightening antagonist since "The Exorcist's" demon. The point of view shots from his victims are a more effective alternative to his character than just giving him superpowers. That way, Nolan manages to hold onto the film's overall sense of reality and drama. The film's most effective aspect is the darkness. The stunning set piece creates a nightmarish world that is pure fear incarnate, and with fear being the film's driving force, the darkness is perfectly placed. All of the supporting actors, bar none, are without imperfections in this movie, particularly Katie Holmes, who proves that she is more than a tabloid friendly teen idol. Its just a great shame that her performance in "Batman Begins" was very much overshadowed by her bizarre relationship with Tom Cruise. Michael Caine is severely amiable as Alfred, and the eternally impressive Gary Oldman delivers yet another excellent performance. But of course, it is Bale who steals the show. Obviously relishing the role, Bale makes Batman a character we've never had the privilege of meeting before. More than a straight talking superhero armed with one liners. Batman, thanks to Bale, is now an emotionally unstable, fear inducing warrior. Batman Begins is free from superhero cliché and camp humour. It is, finally, a real Batman movie. The dreaded prison break scene is no less than amazing, and the subsequent parade of justice and optimism, combined with a considerate reference to a legendary Batman enemy, make this film perfect from start to finish.
8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
The bat is back***************, 15 November 2005
Author: keithlivingstone from United Kingdom
All i can say is thank you Chris Nolan,,,I still think you will have to be a magician to beat Tim Burton's Batman film's but Nolan has is well on his way to becoming Houdini. This is a film that describe's Batman as he was in the comics and i think as Bob Kane imagined...So how has Nolan done it..Simple..i've seen the xtras on the Region 2 DVD and it appears that he didn't rush anything and really worked hard on this and recruited the best of the best in the movie making business,it's an extremely hard character to portray and a risky franchise as a director to do a good job as Joel Schumacher found out. He has had some good films like The Lost Boys etc but his take on the Batman was purely a joke and i think he had potentially ruined a huge money making franchise...But however it has been saved with Nolan's amazing take on Gotham and Christian Bale's Dark Knight which truly is an amazing likeness to the comics,,,This film has everything that we wanted and more because it has a beginning a middle and an amazing end which makes batfan's itching for more and a sequel which promises just that,,,it has an all star cast too,Morgan Freeman and doing an amazing job in succeeding the great Michael Gough's Alfred we have Michael Caine..The villain is the Scarecrow but in true Gotham Style there are more corrupt going's on in Gotham than good and who are they gonna call to clean it up..Simple.....THE BATMAN...This film has more gadget's and lifelike special effects than any other Batman Film so it's definitely one to watch..Thanks and i hope you enjoy it as much as i did..
8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
A New Beginning For A Classic Hero, 2 November 2005
Author: jsterry from United States
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
For those of you who were disappointed with the last few Batman movies, 'Batman Begins' redeems the caped crusader in a big way. 'Batman Begins' takes us on a journey through Bruce Wayne's tragic past again, giving us a real insight into what drives and fuels his quest against suffering and injustice. We discover how the billionaire came to be trained in the martial arts, develop his alter ego, and acquire his technological arsenal. Christian Bale gives us a riveting performance as not only a very dark hero, but also a tortured soul looking for the means to combat the wrongs of society, a society that we see is also responsible for the death of his beloved parents. Another thing we notice from the beginning is this story does not tie into that of the other movies in the series. This is however not a disappointing feature, in fact it seems to breathe new life into this timeless classic. So for all of us who have followed the Dark Knight's journey's, strap yourself in for a wild and inspiring ride.
13 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
What's all the fuss? It's just OK, 4 July 2005
Author: Wayne Malin (email@example.com) from United States
Batman redone. It gives us a new origin of Batman (Christian Bale) and
how he got his powers and such. He still plays playboy Bruce Wayne
while fighting evil as Batman. His first two villains are the Scarecrow
(Cillain Murphy) who produces intense fear in his victim with a gas and
Ra's Al Ghul--who trained Batman and knows ALL his weaknesses.
OK--it's MUCH better then Tim Burton's dreadful movies but I still wasn't too impressed. I didn't like the new origin at all and it's a full hour before Batman even shows up! It does have good parts--Bale is dead on perfect as Bruce Wayne AND Batman. He also pumped up for the role (we have at least two shirtless scenes). It LOOKS great (if very dark) and it has elaborate special effects left and right (with tons of explosions thrown in too). But I was mostly bored. The training sequence at the beginning just went on endlessly--it was more like The Shadow's origin than Batmans. Also this movie was WAY too heavy on darkness and atmosphere. At one point it was raining and I noticed nobody in Gotham pulled in their clothes from their lines. This isn't nit picking but obviously it was all out there to add an "atmosphere" to the scene. Also when you find yourself worrying about little things like that the movie just isn't doing its job (i.e. entertaining you). However Batman's costume, the Batcave and the Batmobile are all explained pretty logically.
Acting varies--Bale was just great. Michael Caine (as Alfred) matched him. Even Katie Holmes (a limited actress) was good--too bad she won't be in the sequel (this inexplicable romance/marriage with Tom Cruise is destroying her career). Laim Neeson was very dull as a teacher--he appeared to be drugged out. Gary Olman was (suprisingly) terrible as Jim Gordon--he seems VERY unsure of how to play the role. But Rutger Hauer, Linus Roache (who bears an uncanny resemblance to Bale) and Morgan Freeman were all great.
To be totally honest I looked at my watch more than once. I couldn't wait for this thing to get over. All the praise this is getting is beyond me. I give it a 7--and that's mostly for the acting.
15 out of 23 people found the following review useful:
Spider-Man who?, 16 June 2005
Author: racegirl9729 from United States
Since "X-Men" and "Spider-Man" came on the scene, the comic book movie
genre has experienced new life. Those films were filled with action,
witty dialogue and good acting. "Batman Begins" is certainly no
exception. It leaves the previous movies in the "Batman" series far
behind- in fact, it's no use comparing them. The movie is practically
seamless; there are very few complaints to be made about it.
Christian Bale is the perfect Batman. He brings a new perspective and depth to the character that is unmatched in any other comic book film. The supporting cast is also extremely good, including such great actors as Michael Caine, Liam Neeson and Morgan Freeman. This cast takes the movie far beyond just a comic book film. They make it into a movie that stands on its own, even if you've never heard of Batman before.
The movie itself is excellent. It manages to avoid most of the corniness that is evident in many comic book film adaptations. True, there are a few moments where the script leaves something to be desired, but these moments are very rare. When they do occur, the actors make them much less corny than the moments could be in less capable hands. The action in the movie is present, but it doesn't take over.
In short, this movie is a must-see. You'll notice that I didn't discuss the plot at all; that is because it contains many unexpected twists and turns and revelations. The attention to detail is incredible. Truly, you must see this film in order to comprehend it. It leaves all other comic book movies far behind.
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