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Old 11-13-2005, 10:07 PM   #22
Drunken Savior
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Batman Begins (2005)


Released 2005
Starring: Christian Bale, Liam Neeson, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Tom Wilkinson, Morgan Freeman, Katie Holmes and Cillian Murphy.
Written by: David Goyer and Christopher Nolan
Directed by: Christopher Nolan


Acting: A
Cinematography: B+
Story: A-
Music: B

One of the first movies released where the producers actually listened to the fans, Batman Begins pulls the Dark Knight out of the bizarre ?Neo-Las Vegas? Gotham of Joel Schumacher and slaps him back in the crime ridden metropolis of Gotham City (actually filmed in Chicago). Batman Begins is also a film about the Dark Knight, putting the villains in the backseat. For once, us fans get a story about Batman, not just a vessel to display big name actors to play villains.


This is MY movie, BITCH!

Distraught by the death of his parents, Bruce Wayne(Bale) devotes his life to stopping injustice. Studying under his mentor, Ducard(Neeson), Bruce Wayne soon realizes that he must become a symbol to stop injustice. Bruce wants to strike fear into his opponents, and chooses the guise of the bat, an animal he has feared since a child, to seek his means. First things first, cripple the empire of mob boss Carmine Falcone (Wilkinson) who has crippled the city of Gotham. However one open door opens three more, and soon Batman is fighting the likes of the Scarecrow (Murphy) and ultimately a menace more powerful than the both of them.


Cillian Murphy is perfectly cast as the morally bankrupt Dr. Johnathan Craine, a.k.a. The Scarecrow.

Aiding Bruce's fight is his trust butler, Alfred(Caine), who provides quite a bit of comic relief. He doesn't drown the pic in comedy, but he lightly adds an upbeat mood whenever he is present. Lucious Fox (Freeman) acts as Bruce' right hand man inside Wayne Enterprises, aiding Bruce in acquiring the technology he needs. Rachael Dawes(Holmes) is Bruce' childhood friend turned Assistant D.A., and Captain James Gordon (Oldman) finally gets a worthy screen presence as Batman?s insider to the Gotham Police Force.


Wilkinson hams it up as Carmine Falcone, the mob boss behind Gotham's organized crime.

Christopher Nolan started the production of Batman Begns with a private viewing of Blade Runner. Upon the end, he said "This is how I want Gotham City to look like." And he did succeed, Gotham City is dirty up close and beautiful from afar. You see the filth line the edges of the streets, and you really get an impression that this city is rotting, in need of a hero to clean it up.

Now let's talk about the fight scenes. You have probably heard that the fight scenes are cut very fast, making it hard to follow. Some claim it necessary to capture the chaotic style of Batman fighting. But I say it makes for a bad film. There must be other ways to capture that chaos without giving the viewer a headache. The fight scenes are a small blemish on an otherwise great film. And to those who disagree, why was the first fight (Bruce Wayne fighting the jail inmates) chaotic? The fast cut action just makes for poor viewing. I hope Nolan goes back and cleans up his style for the next Batman film, due in 2008.


A sign you're about to be OWNED

The acting is top notch. When Christian Bale was cast as Bruce Wayne, I couldn't believe it. Bale was the internet favorite according to Batman-On-Film, the premiere source for Batman movie buzz online. If you ever saw American Psycho you could see that Bale could easily play the dark socialite. Then the rest of the cast was filled in. Many were upset that Michael Gough lost the role of Alfred to Oscar Winner Michael Caine, but fears were abated when Caine displayed an amazing understanding of the character. But the biggest triumph in casting has to be James Gordon, played by Gary Oldman. Until now, Gordon has been a joke. From Batman(1989) to Batman and Robin(1997) Gordon has been a bumbling fool, played by Pat Hingle. Oldman makes Gordon a realistic character, an honest cop in a dishonest police force. When Bruce proclaims '(Gotham has) good people here,' to the menace looking to destroy the city, Gordon is one of the people he is referring to. Liam Neeson is meant to play the mentor (Qui Gon Jinn from the Phantom Menace) and guides Bruce to gain the will and the technique to fight injustice...at all costs. Cillian Murphy is downright creepy as the morally bankrupt Dr. Johnathan Craine, head of Arkham Assylum's psychiatric ward, who looks at his subjects as guinea pigs for his experiments. (Sidenote: Cillian Murphy lost the role of Bruce Wayne to Christian Bale) Now Katie Holmes. Many hated her, but I honestly liked her character. She was spunky, businesslike, and wasn't just a damsel in distress (see Mary Jane Watson). Her deep connection to Bruce Wayne (see deep connection, not ROMANTIC connection) provides ample plotlines to explore. And it's good to see a superhero flic where romance isn't a main theme, huh? Tom Wilkinson is pretty hammy as Falcone, but I liked it. I felt it fit and he portrayed a man in power very convincingly. And lastly, has Morgan Freeman every done a bad job onscreen? He continues his amazing streak here.


A stellar cast led by a (relatively) unknown actor who was WAYYY past due for a solid Hollywood role

The music also takes a hit. While Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard made an awesome musical score (No lyrics in ANY of the film's soundtrack!), it lacks an obvious Batman theme. Maybe Vespertilio is the theme (the opening song) but it lacks an obviousness to it. However, the score is phenomenal, utilizing a lot of strings and horns to bring the world of Batman to life. But when you compare it to Danny Elfman's theme from the 1989 film, Elfman's has a better grasp on the concept of a theme. But, I must reiterate that Zimmer and Howard made an INCREDIBLE soundtrack that heightens the theme created by the actors, story, and atmosphere. It's amazing work...but it just needed a theme...


Tough as Nails, Liam Neeson.

Batman Begins was the film Batman fans have been longing for. Batman(1989) was good, but it failed to capture the whole world of Batman. It(1989) did hit a few cues right(Batman, Joker, Gotham), but it failed on many others (the story of Batman, the police force). Begins hits all points successfully, and re-launches the franchise in an era where the fans are in control. Flicks like X-Men and Spiderman have set the stage for the ultimate Batflick, and thanks to the success of those two films, us Batfans have finally gotten an official apology from Warner Bros for making us sit through Batman and Robin to get our Batfix.


Batman's P.O.V., on drugs

***SEQUEL RUMORS FOR BATMAN BEGINS '2'***
CONTAINS SPOILERS FROM BATMAN BEGINS

So where do we go from here? Well, obviously the next villain the Bat has to face his arch nemesis, the Joker. Who is going to play the Joker? Well it looks like it's a toss up between Aussie Lachy Hulme and Paul Bettany for the role of the Clown Prince of Crime, with Hulme in the lead. The story will also follow the rise and fall of new District Attorney Harvey Dent (rumored to be played by Liev Schribber) as he, the Batman, and newly crowned Lieutenant Gordon fight to bring down the Joker. Side stories include the possibility of the Penguin as a small times arms dealer in a cameo role, and another wealthy socialite who has turned corrupt. Also it is looking like the past of Thomas Wayne (Bruce's father) will be explored.

2008 is a long way off...


Will the Scarecrow return....Drunken thinks so!
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Last edited by Drunken Savior; 11-14-2005 at 10:01 AM.
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