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|Index||2665 reviews in total|
Batman Begins isn't another superhero movie in the line of Spider- Man, the X- Men or the Hulk. In fact, even if you don't care for Batman or any of his costumed colleagues, you can still enjoy this film as a good action- thriller. It doesn't thrive on special effects and big action scenes but offers a decent story with lots of attention to character development. The movie is fairly low tech and because it doesn't rely on computer technology in the way other recent superhero movies do, it has an old school feel to it, kind of like an early 80s fantastic film or even Superman: The Movie. Of course, Batman Begins is much darker than Richard Donner's beauty, but the evolution of both main characters from youths, coming to terms with who they are, to caped crusaders is depicted in a similar way. As far as the actual crime fighting goes, this movie puts right everything that was done wrong in Batman Forever and Batman and Robin. Our hero's weapons are not covered with blinking lights, but sober and practical: no computer controlled Batarangs, but ninja stars shaped as a bat. No design costume, but military armor, decorated with a cape and mask. The Batmobile is no skyscraper climbing super car, but a rejected army vehicle put to new use that befits the general atmosphere of this movie. Batman doesn't fight villains in shiny outfits who fly around on supersonic gliders or have tentacles as arms. The bad guys in this film are real people: gangsters, a corrupt warden of a psychiatric ward, a martial arts specialist and lots of crooked cops. If you take into consideration that Batman Begins is based on the Year One comics, written by Sin City's Frank Miller, one cannot help noticing the similarity between Robert Rodriguez' newly created world and the one depicted in this movie. In fact, Sin City could just as well be Gotham City without Batman. So forget Joel Schumacher's monstrosities. In fact, Christopher Nolan has even gone one better than Tim Burton and created a credible movie with a good story, realistic characters and the filthiest setting the world's Darkest Knight has ever called home.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I don't worry and obsess too much about 'superhero' flicks. I just
expect them to suck and take what enjoyment I can from them. So the
relatively high quality and watch-ability of "Spider-Man" and "X-Men"
was a great surprise to me, since I had fully expected them both to be
lame, camp, and stupid. But instead, both flicks were well made films
with warmth, dignity and humor, as well as being pleasant tributes to
the memories of decades of entertaining stories and the comic book
creators who made them.
"Batman Begins" continues this great tradition. It manages to include almost everything the fans love about the character and his alter ego - the cape, the gadgets, the Bat-Mobile (more of a Bat-Tank, but still), the urban backdrop, the disturbed and disturbing villains. And it does all this while still being a crackerjack movie - the quality of the production, the acting, the soundtrack and the cinematography are Sky high.
What's really wonderful about this version of Batman is that there are some major Hollywood actors involved in this, but every one of them treats the material with gravitas and respect. But at the same time, no one chews the scenery or over-does the drama. Neeson and Caine are especially great in this respect. No one can instill dignity and humanity into a potentially silly or goofy scene like Neeson.(Hell, he almost saved 'Episode One' all by himself.) Here, he just punches the humanity and also 'larger than life' quality of the proceedings into the next level. And Micheal Caine is, well, Micheal Caine. He's effortlessly wonderful as Alfred, as good in his way as Micheal Gough was in the previous versions of the franchise.
I think it is obvious that while Tim Burton is a wonderful, whacked out visionary (and God Bless him for it), Nolan is in fact a better director for this more naturalistic material.
I was very pleased to learn that Christian Bale would be the new "Batman" - after watching him in "American Psycho" and in "Equilibrium", I was pretty sure that he would have just the right qualities for the part - he's built like a brick, and he's got the 1000-yard stare and the 'lights are on, but nobody's home' qualities that the character demands. And man, he is good in this. Micheal Keaton is a wonderful actor, but Bale seems to have been BORN to play Batman.
I can't give this a perfect '10', because it's a superhero flick, for crying out loud. I save '10' for stuff like 'Bambi' and 'Deliverance'. But this is really, really, really good.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was lucky enough to have seen the premiere of the movie on Monday
evening and I was very impressed. This is easily the best Batman movie
I have ever seen. This movie completely disregards the previous 4
Batman movies and begins its own franchise. The scenes are dark and
foreboding, as is Batman himself. This film makes the previous 4 Batman
films look as campy as the old TV show. There are no wild costumes or
over-the-top freak characters. Scarecrow's costume consists of nothing
more than a burlap sack yet it is more effective than the ridiculous
outfits worn by Mr. Freeze or The Riddler in the last two terrible
The movie is outright action. The fight scenes are realistic in that there are no stupid one-liners being dropped during the fight, nor does the fight pause for one of the characters to crack a cheap joke. Christian Bale is the best Batman I have ever seen. The supporting cast is incredibly strong; with especially solid performances by Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Rutger Hauer, Liam Neeson and even Gary Oldman (who I have been very critical of in the past). I hadn't seen much of Katie Holmes before this film, but her performance was every bit on par as those of the seasoned veteran actors mentioned above. Lastly there is Cillian Murphy, whose performance reminded me of the chilling characters played in the past by Christopher Walken. I can see Murphy becoming a much bigger name in film in the near future.
This was not a children's' movie in any way, though the film is not overly violent or gory. I don't recall seeing any blood at any point in the film. I saw many parents bringing children to the premiere, but I believe these people were expecting a movie like the previous 4 that added corny jokes and enemies that bordered on slapstick with their appearance.
The movie distances itself immediately from the others by showing the audience a different version of Bruce Wayne's parents being murdered. The origin is told well and gives us a much better insight on the character of Bruce Wayne/Batman. This Batman is realistic. We see how he is trained and hear what his beliefs are. He even bruises and looks athletic without looking TOO big to hide his appearance when not in costume. I applaud Christopher Nolan for breaking out on his own and not submitting to the campy formula of the other movies.
I would gladly see this movie again in the theater. It looks to be the best film of the summer and easily the best film I've seen this year. Because there is no sex or gratuitous violence the film is okay to take the kids to, but don't expect them to be as entertained as they were with the previous films. At no point does this film even pretend to be targeted at a younger audience.
Every now and then, an innovative and groundbreaking film emerges and
changes the genre by taking its genre and combining others. Film
schools teach you that talking head movies don't work, but Godfather
showed that captivating dialog and memorable characters could drive a
movie and capture an audience's attention just as well as action. When
this summer is over, Batman Begins will do the same thing for the comic
book genre. It shows that a reality and character driven set piece can
work for these types of movies.
There are NO superpowers in the movie. The villains rely on mastered sword fighting, physical athleticism, and cunning as their vehicles to create chaos. And although there is action, which is done masterfully, (The car chases and hang glide scenes will blow you away)the story is moved completely by its lead character and not the events surrounding him.
The movie is a journey of self discovery. One man's struggle to deal with guilt and anger. And minus the batsuit and batmobile, this movie could stand alone as a powerful drama about self discovery, and would probably even merit Oscar consideration. The acting is superb and this is the first comic book movie to ever leave me with a lump in my throat. The relationship between Alfred and Bruce is completely genuine and heartfelt.
So enjoy the movie and be prepared for an onslaught of copy cat films to come.
I never thought Christian Bale could displace Michael Keaton as the
best batman, but, sorry Michael, the deed is done.
Batman fans should find no surprise in the darkness of this tale depicting the early life of Bruce Wayne, his transformation into The Batman, and one of his most harrowing adventures. I avoided reading reviews before seeing this. As a lifelong comics fan, I felt this film deserved an open mind from me. After seeing one of the trailers, I became convinced that this film was going to be based on Frank Miller's The Dark Knight, a legendary take on the 1930s Batman origin story inked in the 80s by the man who later gave us Sin City. But no, this is a fresh and original Batman film, including the significant elements of the original, but adding its own very carefully thought out embellishments. While it has all of the darkness of The Dark Knight, it has all of the plot elements of the original, and more.
The familiar Batman story is told early in the film, but by the time we are allowed to focus on Wayne, he has grown into a young man. Wayne is depicted as a troubled drifter whose traumatic early life has left him seeking understanding in all of the wrong places. Bayle plays the character to the hilt - with his detachment, repressed anger and heavily depressive tendencies sustained throughout the entire film. Susceptible to any guidance that might provide him with a chance to right the wrongs he has seen, he falls under the spell of Ra's Al Ghul high in the Bhutanese Himalayas and becomes an apprentice in the League of Shadows - a secret society of ninjas who purge the world of corruption in a merciless manner. Wayne's martial arts training is where the major story arc begins.
This is easily the most serious, intelligent, and adult of the batman films. It is well filmed, relentlessly fast-paced and intelligently scripted. Batman Begins also sports a phenomenal cast. I am aware that a few people felt that Katie Holmes was miscast as Rachel Dawes, but I couldn't agree less. She did a good job as, basically, the only woman in the film. The rest of the cast did not miss a beat either. The very likable Michael Caine makes a great Alfred, though I have to admit I was concerned when I first saw him on screen (having never gotten over some of his weaker efforts).
With Sin City and Batman Begins coming out in the same year, it is easy to imagine that - after decades of struggle - the comic media has finally successfully broken into serious commercial films. Let's hope it's here to stay!
Saw an early screening of Begins this weekend and I must say, it lived
up to my expectations.
Something had to be done to rescue our hero's good name. Thankfully, Batman Begins, the start of a whole new series chronicling the origins of the Caped Crusader - does all that and more.
Where Burton's Batman claimed to be dark, this one is genuinely menacing. It's a violent and truly scary film.
Everyone in the movie does a great job in their role ( except Kate Holmes which had more to do with the character then her ) the movie is a trumph of epic proportions. It doesn't leave out much to the imagination, everything is set up to the last drop.
One of the best comics adaptations ever and I cant wait to see it again.
After being disillusioned by just about every comic book "blockbuster" of recent times, Batman Begins comes as a nice surprise. The film draws a lot of visual inspiration from Blade Runner and looks all the more impressive for it. The storytelling is done at a decent pace, giving each stage just enough time to have an impact before moving on. On the acting front Michael Cane as Alfred steals the show serving as the comic relief. Katie Holmes is a bit disappointing but her role is largely forgettable. Christian Bale does an excellent job of re-imagining Bruce Wayne, even if he doesn't look quite right with the mask on. Just goes to show, with this and Sin City looks like Hollywood can do Comic Books.....
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It seems like I am the only one doesn't like Batman Begins. I'm not a
fan, and my knowledge of Batman comes from the ones I watched back when
I was 8, but it is still no excuse that the movie was done so poorly.
First of all, the plot and reasoning is nonexistent. For some reason, Bruce Wayne is in a Chinese prison. Somewhere along the line, *ninjas* become a part of the plot. The supposed Ra's Al Ghul is the leader of Liam and the ninjas, but what comes out of Liam's mouth is neither Chinese or Japanese. And Liam, being Caucasian, utters the only Japanese you'll hear in this movie, teaches Bruce "ninja skills" and proceeds to make a fool of himself by saying the lame Japanese names for every move before he executes them. Am I the only one who sees the problem with this?
The action scenes are dizzy and done in too many close ups in too many shots. The "batmobile" is an ugly, enormous, tanker, and all the stuff Bruce gets for his Batman gear comes not from Alfred but from his dad's company, which for some reason is involved with making trains AND making all this high tech military stuff that even the military doesn't want. Bruce's voice, when he's Batman, is just Bruce Wayne with a sore throat.
The biggest disappointment was the dialogue. The mentoring bit was too full of hocus pocus that is just repetition of "FEAR this" and "FEAR that" and "OVERCOME fear" that is supposed to be spiritual but results in what you can expect from a session with your psychologist but a thousand times cheesier. The dialogue was so poorly written that in every scene you have at least 3 actors reciting one-liners intended to "lighten up" the (pretentious) mood and garner knee-jerk chuckles from the audience, as you can see from the extremely long list of "memorable quotes". It was like the script writer said to himself "Hey I know, why not stick lots of funny one-liners one after the other so I can show the audience how witty I am". Also, his knowledge of "dialogue" doesn't extend further than questions and answers. For example:
Bruce: Who are you working for? Man: blah blah blah Bruce: Where? Man: blah Bruce: Why? Man: blah Bruce: When? ...ad nauseum
I could go on about more distractions and sheer idiocy (like when the city is sprayed with hallucinogens, Rachel and the random kid are not affected) but that would be beside the point, because the whole movie IS ONE BIG distraction. From other, better, movies that probably cost a quarter of Batman Begin's production cost.
This movie was absolutely dreadful. Christian Bale as Batman was just absolutely ridiculous not to mention Michael Caine with his accent. There were several points in the movie I burst out laughing at Bale's delivery of lines. It was like he practically growled as if to sound menacing. I think the public at large just has no idea what is an accurate portrayal of Bob Kane's comic character. To me the closest I think was the original 1989 Batman movie. The absurdity of Batman Begins was how serious it was trying to be which made you laugh at it rather than with it. The Scarecrow was the most disappointing villain of any of the previous Batman films. He was completely boring and just downright stupid. This film was such a complete insult to the fans who have stuck with the movie series through the good sequels and the bad. Unfortunately a new generation of children think this is cooler than a Batman that makes much more sense and has an element of fun to it. Tedious and bland is the only way to describe this new reinvention of the Dark Knight. Next!
Batman Begins (2005)
I saw this for a second time last night as kind of homework before seeing "Dark Knight Rises" and it is a marvel of movie-making, for sure. It's also filled with crazily exaggerated legends and it gives depth to many characters who have become as important to Batman as the evil enemies he faces. It has a few sections that are expository that slowed it down, but not for long, and some of the action scenes are astonishing technical feats.
This is the first in what has turned out to be a trilogy, and it begins at the beginning, much like movies have done for Spiderman and Superman. Besides being far-fetched (the ninja fighters training our wandering orphan in some mountain retreat are the same ones who sacked Rome, etc.), it at first creates a different kind of movie, less about fighting evil than developing the skills and psychology to be superhuman. And those blue poppies they inhale--well, they comes into play later, too.
So Bruce Wayne gets initiated, returns to Gotham, and slowly gets his equipment compiled, much of it stuff concocted by the wily and reassuring Mr. Fox, played by Morgan Freeman. The butler, played by Michael Caine, is in on the secret duality of our man from the start, and helps him in both practical and moral-boosting ways. It's all exciting and yet warm at the same time. You really wish there was such a Batman, with friends.
Where the movie thins out, even as the action gets increasingly over the top, is even the slightest logic to the plot. You really have to just say, okay, this is a comic book world, and there really might be a plot to destroy Gotham simply because it's reached its peak of civilization. And there really might be a little machine with enough microwave power to vaporize the entire water system of the city. Just go with it.
Certainly we have no trouble believing Batman can come and go like magic, glide with beautiful memory fabric wings, and shoot his rescue rope (like Spiderman) into faraway nooks. We all want to do this, and Christopher Nolan, the director, makes it dramatic like few others have. As many have written, this is the second best adventure hero movie ever. That might be true--there are a few others in line in my book--but it is probably easier to agree that the second in the trilogy, "The Dark Knight," is better than them all.
But this led to that, and it's a great movie for this type. I mean, there are different kinds of movies that might leave you moved and even changed afterwards. Those are great movies. This one is a great movie experience, pure unapologetic entertainment. With lots of human moments and enough depth you can even watch it twice. I just did, and it worked.
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