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Batman Begins - 30/9/2005 5:01:30 PM   
Empire Admin

 

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Post #: 1
Batman survey - 12/3/2006 9:29:43 PM   
The Cheshire Cat

 

Posts: 3
Joined: 12/3/2006
Hi guys i am a student and my dissertation subject is on Batman. I have posted a survey which asks 12 simple questions on all the batman films to date. If you do the survey i will be really greatfull and hopefully get a good mark with the information that i will gather from you.



Batman Survey

(1a) Have you seen all the batman films from Tim Burtons 1989 Batman to Christopher Nolan’s 2005 Batman Begins?

*Yes
*No

(1b) If No which films have you seen?

*Batman
*Batman Returns
*Batman & Robin
*Batman Forever
*Batman Begins

(1c) If you have seen all the films why did you decide to see Batman Begins with the disaster of Batman & Robin and Batman & Forever?

*Good Reviews
*You wanted to give it a second chance
*Or was it because of the director and actors starring in it.

(2a) The films that you have seen from the series which one is your favourite?

*Batman
*Batman Returns
*Batman & Robin
*Batman Forever
*Batman Begins

(2b) In ten words or less could you describe why it is your favourite?



(2c) Which film do you believe is the worst?

*Batman
*Batman Returns
*Batman & Robin
*Batman Forever
*Batman Begins

(2b) In ten words or less could you describe why you think it is the worst film in the series?



(3) In Batman Begins they returned to the darkness that is associated with Batman why do you think they did that?



(4a) Who do you think is the best villain in the series so far?

*The Joker
*The Peguin
*Catwomen
*Two-Face
*The Riddler
*Poison-Ivy
*Mr Frezze
*Scarecrow
*Ra’s Al Ghul

(4b) In ten words or less why do think that person is the best villain?



(4c) In ten words or less why do you think that person is the worst villain?



(5) Do you believe with the success of Batman Begins that the Batman franchise will rise again and be one of the most successful comic book hero’s once again?

*Yes
*No
*Maybe


End of Quiz
Post #: 2
RE: Most Over rated Batman Film without doubt - 13/3/2006 4:18:44 PM   
Naweed_1


Posts: 1432
Joined: 7/1/2006
From: Birmingham
You are absoultly right everone else on the planet has gone mad Batman Begins is shit.
Micheal Keaton is a legend.

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Post #: 3
RE: Batman Begins - 13/3/2006 4:51:52 PM   
FBTurner


Posts: 825
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From: Johnny Depp Pants
FAB FAB FAB - I though it was the best yet

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Post #: 4
RE: Batman Begins - 14/3/2006 10:46:48 PM   
mrsbateman

 

Posts: 1
Joined: 13/1/2006
From: London
People here knows nothing about Batman from Frank Miller. Definetely!
It's actually a copy of the first film but with different characters and a different style, I would even say dull, and not dark, sometimes ridiculous, like the small jokes they have to insert and a stupid romance that never ever happened in a batman graphic novel! Liam Neeson, great actor usually, but what a ridiculous part! "Excuse me, i got a city to destroy". Boooooo!!!! Clicheeeeee! And that is a really huge Christian Bale fan speaking. The only good parts is when he was shirtless... it's that shallow! Katie Holmes?? *puke* I am amazed that Christian Bale actually convinced me that this was going to be a serious film... and even more amazed and disappointed that he is going to do a second one! What happened to Patrick Bateman?? And when are they getting Batman Year One and film it exactly like it is, that's a fucking storyboard ready right under their bloody noses!


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Post #: 5
RE: Batman Begins - 15/3/2006 9:23:12 AM   
Jessica_ca_ca_ca


Posts: 30072
Joined: 4/1/2006
Bale has been the best Batman since Keaton. They made this film darker and they went back to the original roots. Neeson was perfect as Ra's - no one could have played it better that's for certain.
 
I liked the new Alfred too. Just the right amount of cockney in a butler, of course, and you can't really go wrong with Caine in anything he does.
 
The romance was a different matter, though. Katie Holmes was surely not the right person to play this part. She was practically wooden in character, and I sure as hell hope she won't be "starring" in the next one of the brand new and improved franchise.
 
They practically resurrected Batman from the grave after the abismal sequels thus far as soon as Batman Returns concluded. Good comments all round (apart from Holmes - weirdo)

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Post #: 6
RE: Batman Begins - 20/3/2006 11:21:54 AM   
Samuelpoet


Posts: 6380
Joined: 25/10/2005
From: The Moulin Rouge!
BATMAN BEGINS (2005) Director Christopher Nolan
 
[image]http://us.movies1.yimg.com/movies.yahoo.com/images/hv/photo/movie_pix/warner_brothers/batman_begins/batmanbeginsbustposterbig.jpg[/image]
 
Just when the movie world thought that a particular comic book / film franchise was over and done with, pre summer 2005 brought alot of mixed feelings from the movie going public in relation to the long awaited Batman movie. Originally hyped as BATMAN : INTIMIDATION GAME, hence all the mixed and purposely built miss-leading stories in the press, director Christopher Nolan revived the Dark Knight in what I believe to be the best BATMAN movie to date. BATMAN BEGINS.

This movie tackles and portrays Bruce Wayne / BATMAN from an angle previously unseen from other Batman movies. Alot of BATMAN fans would argue the fact that that Tim Burtons BATMAN in 1989 would be the all time classic, which is fair enough. To me back then as a child in my mid teens all I and any other kid would want to see was The BATMAN kick THE JOKER's ass fair and square, but nevertheless at that time you don't realise or notice how incorrect the film was to the comic books. Firstly Burtons BATMAN was mainly focused on THE JOKER and may as well have been called JOKER. We got little insight into the origin of BATMAN in that movie and main emphasis was on the JOKER's character. Secondly the little focus built around the origin of BATMAN was incorrect. The death of Bruce Waynes parents was not originally executioned by Jack Napier / Joker in the comic books and in all thats right in the world of Gotham City and The Dark Knight, BATMAN BEGINS corrects all of that and Nolan gives us his most loyal vision / intereratation of The BATMAN, exactly the way it should be.

With no set time scale we see BATMAN BEGINS delve into the origin of BATMAN, hence the title of the movie itself. Christian Bale I think was a fine choice to explore and play the role of Bruce Wayne.

[image]http://us.movies1.yimg.com/movies.yahoo.com/images/hv/photo/movie_pix/warner_brothers/batman_begins/christian_bale/batmanbegins10.jpg[/image]

Bale brought the realism of Waynes own personal torment from the pages of Bob Kanes creation back in 1939 to a more contemorary audience with great success. The reason I believe that this was a success all round, is simply because Christopher Nolan and David S Goyer with the help of Alan Moores Dark Knight format, brought to life a character that we know as not only BATMAN fans but also as something that we can all relate to on a personal level as individuals. There without doubt will be an element of Bruce Waynes, turmoil, grief, self hate, anger, guilt, acts of revenge and misery that we can all relate too at one point in our lives. The dialogue involved quotes that personally rang true to me, and I must admit accompanied with the underscore composed by Hans Zimmer, some of the dialogue sent a shiver down my spine or set a lump in my throat...

[image]http://us.movies1.yimg.com/movies.yahoo.com/images/hv/photo/movie_pix/warner_brothers/batman_begins/_group_photos/michael_caine16.jpg[/image]

"Why do we fall Bruce? So that we learn to pick ourselves up!"
 
The direction of Christopher Nolan's BATMAN BEGINS was episodic, it gave a mixture of past and present with great remenissence of  Wayne's character, it gave no impression of a timeline though occasionally it did give references to The Great Deppression, so it is possible that it was set twenty to thirty years after. What was also appealing was the setting of Gotham City, one point it looked slightly futuristic, then rightfully Gothic and then dark and gritty as it should be.Nolan also wasn't afraid to mix the status transactions with this movie either. For example, billionaire Thomas Wayne helped build the metro system in the city, which is used by differant classes of people, I found it fitting that he was using it also on the way for a family night out at the theatre.

As soon as the story starts, we know where we're heading with the characters, but what we don't know is how believable it's gonna be and in all honesty all that rests with the actors. Alot of which shall I add involves alot of British actors... Micheal Caine played a great role as loyal butler and close friend Alfred Pennyworth.

[image]http://us.movies1.yimg.com/movies.yahoo.com/images/hv/photo/movie_pix/warner_brothers/batman_begins/michael_caine/batman.jpg[/image]

Garry Oldman gave us a taster as a young Sgt Jim Gordon. Tom Wilkinson as gang lord Falcone', Liam Neeson as Ducard both portrayed with great villainy. Not to mention the great Cillian Murphy who came across disturbing in the discretest way possible as Doctor Jonathan Crane A.K.A The Scarecrow.

[image]http://us.movies1.yimg.com/movies.yahoo.com/images/hv/photo/movie_pix/warner_brothers/batman_begins/cillian_murphy/begins1.jpg[/image]

But of cousre there was Morgan Freeman, Ken Wantanbe, Rutger Hauer, Katie Holmes and last but not least the main man himself...
Christian Bale.

Throughout Bale's journey as Bruce Wayne, we see moments of remenissence, sentimentality, a playboy image, charm and wit. Most of which could easily fall into the characteristics of James Bond, to which I'm suprised he wasn't chosen for that role too. Bale would have been perfect. 

[image]http://us.movies1.yimg.com/movies.yahoo.com/images/hv/photo/movie_pix/warner_brothers/batman_begins/christian_bale/pinstripe.jpg[/image]

Bale also brings diverse levels throughout BEGINS, sometimes we witness the pain and heart felt anguish that is Wayne, then to break the mood we have the guardian bond between him and Micheal Caine and also Bale and Morgan Freeman. Possibly enhaced to substitute that of a father figure. The mix of mood throughout is even more appealing. The sense of gadgetry was a little Bondesque, but on this level Christopher Nolan gave each aspect a hint of realism.

[image]http://us.movies1.yimg.com/movies.yahoo.com/images/hv/photo/movie_pix/warner_brothers/batman_begins/christian_bale/batman7.jpg[/image]

It's approximately about 45 minutes before we see any hint of BATMAN in this movie, we see the completely amateur skills of the Dark Knight masked in a balaclava, but when all is complete he looks like this.
[image]http://us.movies1.yimg.com/movies.yahoo.com/images/hv/photo/movie_pix/warner_brothers/batman_begins/christian_bale/batmanbegins1.jpg[/image]

But even as BATMAN first comes to light on the big screen, we have a very minimal point of view of what the masked crusader looks like. As well as the underscore, Nolan's direction draws us the audience in to the reality and the fear that the criminals of the underworld face. To start, we only see what they see. Which is darkness surrounding the huge cargo containers, we witness their mis co-ordination of gun fire, quick glimpses of BATMAN, but not entirely. This from a fans point of view is what we want, we need to experience the gradual formation of BATMAN as if it were happening now. No one knows who he is or what he looks like and I believe the cargo scene with Falcone' in the car was Nolans way to give us a discreet revelation of what the rest of the rest of the criminal underworld / society were going to succomb to.

To me, the whole movie didn't seem too cartoony, it wasn't WEST, KEATON, KILMER or CLOONEY. They were too unreal for my liking, too cartoony, which to a degree you want, but you've got to make it real as well... And to me, in my opinion, thats what Nolan did.

[image]http://us.movies1.yimg.com/movies.yahoo.com/images/hv/photo/movie_pix/warner_brothers/batman_begins/_group_photos/cillian_murphy15.jpg[/image]

[image]http://us.movies1.yimg.com/movies.yahoo.com/images/hv/photo/movie_pix/warner_brothers/batman_begins/christian_bale/batgrapplinghook.jpg[/image]
He made it real, he gave his own analysis of the BATMAN, his own interperatation of how things have been and are going to be in Gotham. He's paved the way for a chain of potentially successful movies. He's delved into differant society's in Gotham, from the upperclass businessman to the low and unworthy, from the evil's of gangland cruelty to the sadistic murderers and rapists of ARKHAM. He even slotted in a hint of romance, and even more so it still does appeal to kids, theres ahint of that in the movie, when he hands a contraption to a young boy on a balcony, because the youngster said, his friends would never believe him, and despite him thinking at the start of the movie he wasn't a good person, Wayne as BATMAN naturally hands over the object to the kid, which proves a point, as scary as he looks to the evil of society, he has the honest and good intentions of a respectful hero.

[image]http://us.movies1.yimg.com/movies.yahoo.com/images/hv/photo/movie_pix/warner_brothers/batman_begins/christian_bale/batmanbegins12.jpg[/image]

There is alot to play with here if used correctly and in a similar manner as BEGINS, The SCARECROW could make a return, which I believe is another character to delve into and plus there is the hint of THE JOKER at the end of BATMAN BEGINS when Gary Oldman gives his fantastic speech... which left the entire movie on a positive high and a feel good feeling inside the soul. FANTASTIC!
[image]http://us.movies1.yimg.com/movies.yahoo.com/images/hv/photo/movie_pix/warner_brothers/batman_begins/christian_bale/batmanbegins2.jpg[/image]

FAVE SCENE: When BATMAN goes into ARKHAM to save Rachel Dawes and fights THE SCARECROW. The whole sequence to the drum beat underscore, is just dark and gritty and sends a thrill through the veins. Pure heroic and pure Nolan genius!

FAVE QUOTE: "It's not who we are deep down, it's what we do that defines us..."

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Post #: 7
RE: Batman Begins - 20/3/2006 12:06:58 PM   
elfzooey

 

Posts: 342
Joined: 30/10/2005
From: West Midlands
i like this film it was more gritty than other batman films and gave something fresh to the franchise

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Post #: 8
RE: RE: - 20/3/2006 2:59:40 PM   
cenz

 

Posts: 20
Joined: 19/3/2006
How boring was this film,and that murphy bloke as scarecrow was just crap.
Blade is the ultimate superhero.
Post #: 9
RE: RE: - 20/3/2006 6:07:46 PM   
jor el180


Posts: 206
Joined: 18/3/2006
 
Batman Begins was great. How did so many people find it boring?! After sitting through the previous 3 Batman films, Begins was excellent! Nolan made it so that it was real, similar to Burton's version. The acting was just right, and katie holmes was fine (would people leave her alone), and Cilian Murphy provided a decent and non-eccentric scarecrow, but with the same amount of malice and wit- perfect. It was dark, beautiful and damed well dramatic too! it certainly stunned me when i saw it.

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Post #: 10
RE: RE: - 22/3/2006 2:00:44 PM   
zenon

 

Posts: 28
Joined: 16/2/2006
I like Begins, but prefer Burton's 89 vision despite its flaws & oddness. Begins; in going for a more realistic tone, makes it harder to actually make Batman comfortable inside it. Hence the lengthy intro/set up and thereafter the brief & veiled glimpses of Batman in action.
 
Burton's gothic Gotham was created to accommodate Batman & the Joker. Even he had to conceal a great deal of the action in shadow, steam and long shots. Lets face it, actual characters decked out like this are going to look silly in the cold light of day of the real world.
 
As the review said, it’s hard to imagine the Penguin in this life-like grittier incarnation of Gotham. I look forward to the next film & how the Joker will be handled.

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Post #: 11
RE: Batman Begins - 16/4/2006 11:25:36 PM   
LoganX

 

Posts: 100
Joined: 8/10/2005
God I'm amazed my input still kicks around on this site.

Well after much refelction and soul searching and a couple of viewings, BB is still overrated and only got any kind of acclaim cos its better than Batman and Robin.
Over egged under thought and  just far too long kinda like the new King Kong movie.

Where are the classic lines?

Where does he get those wonderful toys?
remember Bob you.... are my numberrrrrr onnnnnnnn  na
Love that Joker

It's funny but not funny cos it's not meant to be.


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Post #: 12
RE: Batman Begins - 7/1/2008 8:46:32 PM   
Mason Verger


Posts: 4724
Joined: 13/1/2006
From: Bombing the storage depots at Daiquiri
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< Message edited by Mason Verger -- 7/1/2008 8:47:37 PM >


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Post #: 13
RE: Is he the Bat, or just a frail mouse with fake wings?? - 8/1/2008 8:21:15 AM   
DanCurley


Posts: 1371
Joined: 3/10/2007
From: London
Mmmmm. I watched this last night. I'm starting martial arts tonight (Jeet Kune Do - Bruce Lee's free-forming type) and I wanted Liam's "If you can fight six men you can engage 600" ringing through my ears as I walk in and start flying kicking.

...the only other Batman film that deserves to even be mentioned next to BB is the one from the '60s (which truly is one of the most hysterical movies ever made). Joel Sch must have been weeping from all three eyes when he first watched Begins and seen how it should be done.

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Post #: 14
RE: When did this review change?? - 20/7/2008 12:17:03 PM   
DanCurley


Posts: 1371
Joined: 3/10/2007
From: London
As anyone seen that bit in BrassEye where Morris is toying some judge into saying Batman shouldn't go? It's bloody funny.

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Post #: 15
RE: When did this review change?? - 20/7/2008 12:26:07 PM   
darth silas


Posts: 4949
Joined: 1/10/2005
From: My living room
Just to respod to Mycroft and Fierce hairdo's comments on Batman supposedly betraying his mantra about killing people.Batman did not kill Ras'al ghul,Batman saved the city,by jamming those controls on the train making sure it did not reach gotham tower,he then saved himself by blowing out the back of the train and gliding to safety.

He wouldnt have been able to save Ras anyway cos he wouldnt be able to glide away by carrying him.Batman made the choice between saving gotham or saving Ras.He made the right decision,thats what makes him a hero.

< Message edited by darth silas -- 20/7/2008 12:27:05 PM >


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Post #: 16
RE: When did this review change?? - 20/7/2008 1:30:17 PM   
no1psh


Posts: 724
Joined: 1/3/2006
From: The Narrows
quote:

ORIGINAL: darth silas

Just to respod to Mycroft and Fierce hairdo's comments on Batman supposedly betraying his mantra about killing people.Batman did not kill Ras'al ghul,Batman saved the city,by jamming those controls on the train making sure it did not reach gotham tower,he then saved himself by blowing out the back of the train and gliding to safety.

He wouldnt have been able to save Ras anyway cos he wouldnt be able to glide away by carrying him.Batman made the choice between saving gotham or saving Ras.He made the right decision,thats what makes him a hero.


Who's to say that Ra's is even dead? You're obviously a 24 fan, you'd no all about characters supposedly being dead and showing up again. The fact that its a superhero movie makes it even more likely that Ra's could be still alive!


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Post #: 17
RE: When did this review change?? - 21/7/2008 3:04:01 AM   
SkullKassidy

 

Posts: 117
Joined: 7/7/2008
quote:

ORIGINAL: fierce-hairdo

quote:

:

ORIGINAL: max314

quote:

:

ORIGINAL: Mycroft

Batman Begins annoys me. They set him up as a symbol of inspiration but then don't properly show what impact he's having on the city, especially from the public's perspective. We really don't have a good understanding of the city at all, the Spiderman films do a much better job of that. They also make no hay out of it being a symbol of fear that somehow inspires people.

At the end of the day the only thing we're shown of Bruce's motivation is Rachel's rant and his father's legacy, it just doesn't feel like a strong enough reason to dedicate yourself, he's living someone else's life. I've never considered his parent's morality to be the key motivator, that's much more of a Spiderman idea. What does their legacy of combatting poverty have to do with dressing up as a Bat anyway? The endless desire to prevent the same thing happening again, while at the same time it being a selfish outlet, is what makes the character interesting. I didn't get either of those things from Begins, it's pretty one-note. It isn't really the usual approach to Batman at all, this version isn't particularly dedicated, he naively thinks it'll be a short-term bit of charity work. I find versions of the character who are compelled to do it, the semi-freaks, much more interesting. The fact that Joe Chill was caught really screws up his motivation, it's much less about anger and more about altruism, he's always in control, there's no real tension there.



Fascinating insight. That might be part of the reason I could never fully get behind the protagonist in Batman Begins. The more I think about it, the more I think you're right about Bruce's motivations being poorly rendered. His motivations are generally explained in the dialogue as opposed to be properly dramatised.

Interesting.

But my biggest beef with Batman Begins is its inconsistent theme. At the end of the first act, Bruce states quite resolutely that "I'm no executioner" because "it separates us from them". At this point, we like Bruce. We think "yeah, that's what makes Batman a hero". Yet in the film's final moments, he basically betrays his own mantra. Bruce sabotages the train's controls and says to Ra's Al Ghul "I won't kill you...but I don't have to save you". What does that mean? That Bruce is looking for loopholes in his own rules? For fuck's sake, you just left a man on a death bound train. Say what you want, but thats murder. That's Bruce crossing the line. It's as though Bruce never spared that farmer's life at all, and undercuts the entire theme of the film of what makes Batman different from any other vigilante. "Justice is about more than just revenge"? Really?




Both of these comments are right on the money.
Batman Begins is certainly overrated. The so called 'inteligence' of the movie is no where to be seen by the finale. Max314 is absolutely right about the phoney-ness of Batman's line "I won't kill you...but I don't have to save you". Its a complete cop out of the "I'm no executioner" mantra throughout the film. It would have been fascinating to explore these contradictions in Batman's character, exposing his flaws but unfortunately Nolan chooses to simply assert Batman's heroic virtue ignoring the fact that Batman ends the film guilty of effective murder of Ra's Al Ghul or at least his manslaughter. We are just encouraged to think that Ra's was a bad man and got his just deserts just like Ra's claimed about the criminal Bruce refused to execute. I guess they think Ra's was right all along!?!

Also, I'm sure this was originally a 4 star review. Empire sneakily trying to rewrite history when people aren't looking again?





All of you that are complaining that Batman betrays his own no-kill mantra by letting someone die (who technically had placed themselves in that position themselves by trying to destroy a whole city) ...you might want consider avoiding reading Frank Miller's seminal "The Dark Knight Returns" it might be abit much for you to handle.

Those of us who do appreciate Miller's vision, and Batman's character in the modern day arena, know half of the attraction is how close to the edge of his own rules Batman often goes. Makes him abit more interesting than someone who does the 100% right thing ALL the time.

And I hope you are all coming down this hard, if not harder, on the Tim Burton movies as well ...if my memory serves me right there are scenes in them that include him blowing up a factory full of henchmen and attaching a bomb to some guy before kicking him down a sewer to explode. How's that for Batman ignoring his own Mantra?
Post #: 18
RE: When did this review change?? - 21/7/2008 10:34:34 AM   
shool


Posts: 10277
Joined: 24/3/2006
From: In The Pipe, Five by Five.
I thought Begins was great and a much needed reboot to the franschise. Nolan is a great director and I cant wait to see The Dark Knight this weekend.

4 stars from me.


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Post #: 19
RE: 5 Stars? 5 Sodding Stars?!?!? - 21/7/2008 1:51:28 PM   
krudler


Posts: 7018
Joined: 30/9/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: blaud

What is wrong with you? the story is all over the place and the overall style screws up the batman legacy


how? 

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Post #: 20
RE: Batman Begins - 15/9/2008 4:19:55 PM   
Dapper Dan Man

 

Posts: 5
Joined: 15/9/2008

After Batman & Robin, George Clooney and co practically killed off the Dark Knight. It is an extremely camp version of batman, totally unbelievable bad guys and why the hell does Batman have his own credit card. I mean WTF. Batman Begins thankfully enough is the total opposite and thank God. Christopher Nolan has managed to transform a hero that had become a laughing stock into a tormented, dark hero that most fans would expect.
 
The plot is very good. Batman has to save Gotham from a toxin that will cause the city’s inhabitants to destroy it through fear. Its very plausible and there is real tension and a question of will he save the day or wont he? Of course he does but the one thing that impressed me more than anything and the reason I wanted to see this film was to see the battle that Bruce Wayne has within himself. He is a man who is lost at the beginning of the film. We see him in a prison, ironically enough for stealing his own goods. As the film progresses so does Bruce, into the Dark Knight himself. This film answers the question why would someone dress up as a bat? The answer: Fear, which is the basis for the whole film. As Bruce says “Bats frighten me. Its time my enemies shared my dread“.
 
Batman films have always had very famous actors and actresses in them. Jack Nicholson, Tommy Lee Jones, George Clooney and Uma Thurman to name but a few. Batman Begins is no different. Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, Michael Caine and Cilian Murphy and Katie Holmes. All are fantastic in their supporting roles however the one person who brings Batman Begins together is Christian Bale. He is an amazing Batman, certainly the best. Physically he is up for the part and he also looks like he could run a big business such as Wayne Enterprises. I had seen Christian Bale in a few films before Batman, Little women, American Psycho, Shaft and Equilibrium were all decent in their own way so I was pleased when he was cast. Christian Bale shows off the characters demons, his grievances for his mother and father and makes it believable that running around as a bat is going to frighten people. The bit in the film were he opens up his wardrobe to reveal his helmet is brilliant. Any fan such as myself must have thought “Oh yeah. This is gonna be one hell of a Batman”
And it is.

_____________________________

"Where you gonna put a tree that big?"
"Bend over and Ill show you"

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 21
RE: Batman Begins - 20/8/2012 5:01:18 PM   
chris kilby

 

Posts: 1539
Joined: 31/3/2010
I'm even later to this party than I was to The Dark Knight Rises, but what the hey...

Where does he get those wonderful toys? It’s a question which clearly has bugged Christopher Nolan for years. Well now we know – he gets them off that guy in The Shawshank Redemption who can get you anything. Even a Batmobile!

A straight origin story (albeit one told in the anything-but-straight, disjointed narrative style of Jean-Luc Godard or Nic Roeg which only settles down into something more linear and conventional once Citizen Wayne arrives back in Gotham City), Batman Begins is the first Batman film actually about Batman. An idea so obvious it’s a wonder no-one thought of it before.

Actually, someone did. Batman Begins owes a lot to Richard Donner’s Superman – the episodic structure, the stylistic shifts determined by location, the all-star cast - even if, tonally, it is its exact opposite. Which is ironic since Tim Burton’s Batman only got made because screenwriter Sam Hamm deliberately avoided using the Superman template which had mired that version of The Dark Knight in development hell for over a decade. Hamm wanted to avoid lengthy training montages of Bruce Wayne doing push-ups. Yet here we are, twenty years later, with a Batman movie which is basically a two-hour training montage. But what a training montage!

The Batman’s been a lot of things over the years. He’s been camp. He’s been dark. He’s been camp again. He’s even been shite. But he’d never been real before. Well, real-ish. Where Tim Burton gave us the hyper-stylised, mock-Goth fantasy version, Christopher Nolan has opted for verisimilitude - the appearance of a plausible pseudo-reality which is more French Connection than camp desecration.

Nolan carefully builds his Batman from the ground up, rationalising everything as he goes – why a mask, why a bat, and, yes, where he gets those wonderful toys. (In a nice touch, Bruce Wayne has to order thousands of the components which make up the cowl just to avoid raising suspicion.) But he introduces the iconography gradually, perfectly timing the debuts of The Cave, The Suit, The Wheels and what will become The Signal for maximum dramatic impact like the master showman he is.

The Batmobile’s real introduction is the standout setpiece of the entire movie – here, a black… tank accompanied through the streets (and over the rooftops!) of Gotham by Hans Zimmer’s iconic score from Black Rain. Well, if you’re gonna steal, you’re as well stealing from yourself. And it’s still a great piece of music.

Then there are the fanpleasingly iconic shots of the cape billowing in the wind and a stunning money shot of The Batman perched atop the spire of a vertigo-inducingly tall building like a gargoyle which elicited gasps in the cinema. For this Batman is self-consciously self-mythologising; very deliberately turning himself into a symbol. An icon. A legend.

What, in anyone else’s hands, would be a pointlessly reductive and mind-numbingly tedious exercise which just got in the way of the story, in Nolan’s hands becomes the meat of the movie itself and something very special indeed.

But Nolan’s in no rush. (Not until The Batman enters Arkham Asylum, certainly, and the film simply does not let up until its thrillingly visceral roller-coaster climax.) It’s easily an hour before we see Wayne in the batsuit. One of the triumphs of Batman Begins is we don’t care. This Bruce Wayne is an interesting character in his own right – a trick Iron Man was to repeat a few years later, testament to just how influential Nolan’s approach to this sort of material has been. For the first time ever on-screen, The Batman isn’t overshadowed by scenery-chewing, OTT bad guys.

It’s about time too. Few characters are as endlessly fascinating or psychologically complex as The Dark Knight Detective. There are hints early on here that young Bruce Wayne is in danger of going down the Travis Bickle/Bernie Goetz road to self-destruction before he is saved from himself by, er, a fanatical cult of vigilante ninjas. Did someone say “realism…”?

Batman Begins is a perfect match of director and material. Christopher Nolan’s films are all about identity – Following, Memento, Insomnia and subsequently The Prestige and Inception. But he can talk about “realism” all he likes. Batman Begins still demands a tremendously willing suspension of disbelief from the audience – we are still talking about a guy who dresses up like a bat, after all. But then, what film doesn’t…?

So why a mask? And why a bat? Fear is the key. In a neat twist, this Batman turns his own Indiana Jones-like childhood phobia of bats against his enemies. Fear is a weapon and a major theme of this movie and of the post-9/11 era it reflects. 9/11 casts a very long shadow over Batman Begins – a bin Laden-like villain, the al Qaeda-like League of Shadows (SPECTRE reconfigured for the modern world as a fanatical cult), and an evil plot (to literally spread fear) which is 9/11 2.0 in all but name. Early drafts of the script were even subtitled: “Intimidation Game” which sounds like an alt. gameshow from hell. All fright my loves…?

Although Mind Games would be more like it. Nolan knows a thing or two about “theatricality and deception” himself and does like playing games, not least with the audience’s heads. A late-in-the-day reveal comes as a real surprise yet is so obvious if you’re a comics fan (and even if you’re not, probably) that I’m still annoyed I didn’t see it coming. Talk about hidden in plain sight. Why, Nolan – I oughtta…! (He’s also a master at disguising exposition as dynamic action – that sword fight on the ominously cracking ice of a frozen lake.)

Something else Nolan does is turn apparently inherent problems with the super-hero film genre itself on their heads. Multiple villains have long been the, uh, bane of super-hero movies. Super-sequels especially – the dreaded “Too-Many-Crooks” Syndrome! Yet Batman Begins has four of them, starting with a mugger and gradually working its way along the criminal chain to a gangster, a super-villain and finally a charismatic global super-terrorist – THE cinematic uber-villain of the early 21st Century having finally usurped the Hannibal Lecter-style serial killer from his throne. Clearly, it’s not the size of your rogues gallery, it’s what you do with it that counts.

Ra’s al Ghul was an inspired if not immediately obvious choice of villain. Not widely known outside the comics-reading ghetto, crucially, he carried no baggage from previous films as most moviegoers had never heard of him. Ra’s is more Bond villain than super-villain - “Gentlemen. The time has come to spread the word. And the word is… panic”; “Now if you’ll excuse me I have a city to destroy.” Originally conceived in the early seventies as a more realistic, Moriarty-like figure in a successful attempt to rescue Batman from the camp excesses of the sixties TV show (the phenomenal if short-lived success of which almost destroyed the character), Ra’s helped turn The Caped Crusader into The Dark Knight. So it’s apt, having once saved his surrogate son from the shadow of Adam West that Ra’s should return to rescue him again, this time from the ignominious clutches of the dreaded Schumacher!

Indeed, Bond has been a large and growing influence on Nolan’s blockbuster career. Inception was a virtual love letter to OHMSS and if Spot-The-Bond Reference in The Dark Knight Rises was a drinking game, Withnail & I would both urgently require liver transplants! While this influence is less overt in Batman Begins it is there. In the exotic globe-trotting. In the villain’s grandiose plotting and private army. And in the figure of Morgan Freeman’s Lucius Fox – Batman’s “Q” in all but name.

But the biggest influence on Batman Begins by far is the seminal graphic novel, Batman: Year One. There is a lot of Frank Miller’s noir masterpiece in there - Flass, Loeb, Jim Gordon’s portrayal as a born again badass, an iconic set-piece involving bats and the pieta-like tableau of the young Bruce and his murdered parents. But, crucially, there’s a lot that isn’t. Nolan is true to the spirit of Frank Miller without being slavishly devoted to the point of the over-awed adoration which made Watchmen such a sclerotic cinematic experience. And, crucially, Miller isn’t Nolan’s sole inspiration. Ra’s al Ghul was a Denny O’Neil creation and “Henri Ducard” is a nice acknowledgement of Batman screenwriter, Sam Hamm, who created the name (if not the character) for the Detective Comics 50th Anniversary issue back in 1989 – the year of Batman’s release.

Something else Batman Begins shares with Superman is its large, all-star cast. Rutger Hauer is an obvious tribute to Nolan’s favourite movie, Blade Runner. Every shot of the incongruously shanty town-like “Narrows” cries out “Blade Runner!” too. Especially when it’s raining. (Or “shonky town” judging by some of the model work…) And further down the ranks are some great character actors like the always sweatily-reliable Mark Boone Jnr. And who knew that Batman was Ken Barlow’s grandson…?

Katie Holmes (as new addition and love interest, Rachel Dawes) came in for a lot of predictable stick as the cast’s supposedly weak link. But she’s OK in the token underwritten-female role – a recurring feature of Nolan’s boys’ films and his Achilles heel as a writer. Even if, inevitably, she’s a little on the young side to be a high-flying assistant DA. (cf: Superman Returns’ supposedly hard-bitten Lois Lane who must have been all of twelve when The Man of Steel went on sabbatical for ten years.)

Tom Wilkinson, of all people, is something of a revelation as a snarling gangster. So often typecast as emasculated husbands and downtrodden, middle-aged angst personified, this must’ve been a dream come true.

Cillian Murphy is icily creepy as a corrupt psychiatrist with secrets of his own and unexpected links to The Batman’s past – compensation for being the reputed runner-up in the race to fill the cape, presumably. And being a psychiatrist in this context, inevitably there is talk of “Jungian archetypes.” Jung and Dangerous? Or The Jung Poisoner’s Handbook…?

Liam Neeson is taking on almost Mount Rushmore levels of monumental gravitas these days. Like Charlton Heston with acting chops. Or a small planet with a beard.

It goes without saying that Gary Oldman is great as Frank Miller’s bold reinterpretation of Sgt Jim Gordon (still years away from that promotion to Commissioner) as the one clean cop in a city that likes being dirty. It’s nice to see Oldman hold the ham and play a recognisable human being for a change after one or six OTT bad guys too many in recent decades. Too bad he looks like Ned Flanders, though - okily-dokily!

Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy takes itself very seriously indeed (and, following Schumacher’s camp-astrophic Bat-rocity, it was about time too!) but it’s nowhere near as humourless as some critics bafflingly insist. The wonderfully wry and insouciant Morgan Freeman as the sardonic Lucius Fox is drier than one of James Bond’s Martinis: “Expecting to run into much gunfire in these caves?” and “I don’t think they ever tried to market it to the billionaire, spelunking, base-jumping crowd.”

But If Lucius Fox is “Q” to Batman’s 007, then Michael Caine’s Alfred is both The Dark Knight’s acerbic conscience and the Trilogy’s light relief - “What’s the point of all those push-ups if you can’t even lift a bloody log?” So what exactly does Bruce Wayne do with all his time and money? It’s a nice, ironic touch that while one surrogate father teaches Bruce to be Batman, it is Alfred who teaches Batman to be Bruce - driving sports cars, dating film stars, buying things which aren’t for sale - more shades of Citizen Kane - in the forlorn hope that if his master starts pretending to have fun he might have some real fun by accident. Which of course raises the crucial question: which is the mask? The Batman or Bruce Wayne? And speaking of The Batman’s surrogate father (and themes of identity and duality), when Gordon says he’ll get his car, that IS Liam Neeson’s voice growling “I’ve brought MINE!” Isn’t it…?

Marking a return to Alfred Pennyworth’s comic book origins as a tough, no-nonsense, John Bull-like cockney, well, who else were they gonna call? Caine’s deadpan delivery of (the ad-libbed?) “May I suggest you try to avoid landing on your ‘ead” has the usually taciturn Christian Bale visibly cracking up in the background!

And Batman Begins is Bale’s show all the way. Rumour has it the studio was reluctant to cast Bale after a string of flops and Nolan had to really fight to get him. But thank god he did or we might have been lumbered with the likes of Freddie Prinze Jnr! Nolan was right and Bale has more than earned his cowl. His alarming weight loss (for The Machinist) followed by his even more alarming weight (and muscle) gain for this reminding everyone that this Batman is being played by no less than another DeNiro. For Bale is without doubt the finest actor to don the cape yet. We’ve come a long way from Adam West – Holy Oscars, Batman! (Dang. Sorry. Swore I wouldn’t do that.)

Bale said he became “a beast” in the suit and it shows. His Batman is a truly terrifying, almost primal figure, roaring at a quaking Mark Boone Jnr like a wild animal – Jung, free and single-minded, you could say. Bale’s Batman is as brutally efficient as his fighting style which has come in for a lot of stick from people just looking for things to complain about. True, sometimes it is hard to tell what’s going on in the impressionistic fight scenes. But that too is attributable to Nolan’s “realistic” agenda. Real fights aren’t anything like the glamourised Hollywood version we’re so accustomed to.

There is real pain etched on Bale’s face when Bruce has to act the drunken arse to save the lives of his guests. It’s interesting, though, when Bruce sneers at the conspicuous charity of his fellow rich “philanthropists” in The Dark Knight Rises it suggests what he said to them here maybe wasn’t that far from the truth after all. But Bale gets some deadpan laughs too – “Does it come in black?” “Anyone who dresses up as a bat clearly has issues.” And “You know how it is. You’re out at night. Lookin’ for kicks. Someone’s passing ‘round the weaponised hallucinogens…”

But no film is perfect. (You don’t say!) There are plot holes - How does Alfred get The Batman down off that roof? Wouldn’t a giant microwave, well, cook everyone anywhere near it? But I don’t see them ever being an issue with anyone…

The League of Shadows only really exists to make Batman’s undeniably extreme (and illegal) methods seem almost reasonable by comparison. The same way Bat-flicks always feel the need to conjure up “non-canonical” female love interests just so no-one thinks our rubber-fetishising hero is gay or anything. Dr Frederick Wertham still casts a long shadow too, it seems…

Nolan’s foreshadowing isn’t exactly what you’d call subtle either. “It’s not who you are underneath. It’s what you do that defines you.” Nolan does this a lot. (“Why do we fall…?” “You still haven’t given up on me?”) And while it is a bit obvious and on the nose, the dramatic payoff is still undeniably powerful – my favourite bit actually. A real hair-on-the-back-of-the-neck moment.

And this is strong stuff for a 12A certificate – one character’s fear-induced hallucinations (especially how he sees The Batman!) being literally the stuff of nightmares. Then there are the escaped serial killers lurching out of a literal fog of fear like zombies… (I’ve always said Tim Booth out of James has the eyes of a killer!)

But if there’s a legitimate criticism of Batman Begins, it’s the more set-bound comic book fantasy elements do sometimes sit awkwardly with the location-shot realism. Something which presumably struck Nolan himself hence the almost entirely location-shot (and even more “realistic”) The Dark Knight. Looking back on Batman Begins with the benefit of hindsight, visually, it almost looks like a transitional film, halfway between the set-bound, impressionistic Gothic fantasy of Tim Burton and the Michael Mann hyper-realism of what was to come.

Nolan is famously averse to CGI (and, it turns out, 3D) only using it when absolutely necessary and then sparingly. He doesn’t over-rely on it, using it to augment what is already there, not to dazzle the eye. And it is seamless. Batman Begins is one of the best “invisible” effects movies since Citizen Kane – another classic where the audience isn’t even aware they are watching special effects. The bats, for instance, have to be CG – there’s simply no other way they could have been achieved what with insurance cover for rabies being through the roof at the moment! But they don’t look it.

Which highlights another great thing about Batman Begins and Christopher Nolan’s "keepin' it real" filmmaking philosophy. It’s nice to see actual sets for a change. It feels like ages since I saw them last in a summer blockbuster. You don’t need CG to achieve this kind of epic scope, epic scale and epic sweep. You just need some stunning locations – Iceland doubling for China. A majestic score by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard doesn’t hurt either.

Batman Begins ends with an ominous warning about the dangerous escalation represented by The Batman’s theatrics and a teasing hint at a possible sequel which could just be another nod to Batman: Year One. There’s also a recurring, blond-haired, Anime-eyed moppet, who remains intriguingly nameless, and could yet prove to be of future significance to the franchise. [Or not.]

So was Batman Begins The Most Successful Reboot Ever? It certainly proved influential, arguably inspiring the glut of similar reboots which followed, starting with Casino Royale. Which is kinda ironic when you consider the enduring influence Bond has had on The Dark Knight Trilogy

Batman Begins was frankly a revelation (in every sense) after the gaudy, neon-lit car crash that was Batman on Broadway aka: Batman & Robin - the fanboys gave a name to their pain… And it was Schumacher! And, yes, for this fanboy, Batman Begins was almost a religious experience with all the awe and wonder that implies. I could have wept with joy it was so good. Almost too good to be true, in fact. Cos you really get the feeling watching this for the first time that finally, after all these years, someone had done Batman properly. Batman Begins was the film I’d wanted Burton’s Batman to be all those years ago.

Mark Kermode is right – and it’s not often I say that. Nolan is an arthouse director trapped in the body a blockbuster director. The Anti-Bay. The Anti-Schumacher! And not a Bat-nip or Bat-butt in sight - where does he get these wonderful films?

(It’s still a rotten title, though. Batman: Origins or Genesis of The Batman would have been better. How about The Batman Menace? No, I've got it… Batman Royale!)

< Message edited by chris kilby -- 20/8/2012 5:54:45 PM >

(in reply to Empire Admin)
Post #: 22
RE: Batman Begins - 20/8/2012 5:16:12 PM   
homersimpson_esq


Posts: 20119
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Springfield
tl;dr

_____________________________

That deep-browed Homer ruled as his demesne.


Bristol Bad Film Club
A place where movie fans can come and behold some of the most awful films ever put to celluloid.

(in reply to chris kilby)
Post #: 23
RE: Batman Begins - 23/8/2012 5:23:14 PM   
cerebusboy


Posts: 1552
Joined: 1/5/2006

quote:

ORIGINAL: chris kilby

I'm even later to this party than I was to The Dark Knight Rises, but what the hey...

Where does he get those wonderful toys? It’s a question which clearly has bugged Christopher Nolan for years. Well now we know – he gets them off that guy in The Shawshank Redemption who can get you anything. Even a Batmobile!

A straight origin story (albeit one told in the anything-but-straight, disjointed narrative style of Jean-Luc Godard or Nic Roeg which only settles down into something more linear and conventional once Citizen Wayne arrives back in Gotham City), Batman Begins is the first Batman film actually about Batman. An idea so obvious it’s a wonder no-one thought of it before.

Actually, someone did. Batman Begins owes a lot to Richard Donner’s Superman – the episodic structure, the stylistic shifts determined by location, the all-star cast - even if, tonally, it is its exact opposite. Which is ironic since Tim Burton’s Batman only got made because screenwriter Sam Hamm deliberately avoided using the Superman template which had mired that version of The Dark Knight in development hell for over a decade. Hamm wanted to avoid lengthy training montages of Bruce Wayne doing push-ups. Yet here we are, twenty years later, with a Batman movie which is basically a two-hour training montage. But what a training montage!

The Batman’s been a lot of things over the years. He’s been camp. He’s been dark. He’s been camp again. He’s even been shite. But he’d never been real before. Well, real-ish. Where Tim Burton gave us the hyper-stylised, mock-Goth fantasy version, Christopher Nolan has opted for verisimilitude - the appearance of a plausible pseudo-reality which is more French Connection than camp desecration.

Nolan carefully builds his Batman from the ground up, rationalising everything as he goes – why a mask, why a bat, and, yes, where he gets those wonderful toys. (In a nice touch, Bruce Wayne has to order thousands of the components which make up the cowl just to avoid raising suspicion.) But he introduces the iconography gradually, perfectly timing the debuts of The Cave, The Suit, The Wheels and what will become The Signal for maximum dramatic impact like the master showman he is.

The Batmobile’s real introduction is the standout setpiece of the entire movie – here, a black… tank accompanied through the streets (and over the rooftops!) of Gotham by Hans Zimmer’s iconic score from Black Rain. Well, if you’re gonna steal, you’re as well stealing from yourself. And it’s still a great piece of music.

Then there are the fanpleasingly iconic shots of the cape billowing in the wind and a stunning money shot of The Batman perched atop the spire of a vertigo-inducingly tall building like a gargoyle which elicited gasps in the cinema. For this Batman is self-consciously self-mythologising; very deliberately turning himself into a symbol. An icon. A legend.

What, in anyone else’s hands, would be a pointlessly reductive and mind-numbingly tedious exercise which just got in the way of the story, in Nolan’s hands becomes the meat of the movie itself and something very special indeed.

But Nolan’s in no rush. (Not until The Batman enters Arkham Asylum, certainly, and the film simply does not let up until its thrillingly visceral roller-coaster climax.) It’s easily an hour before we see Wayne in the batsuit. One of the triumphs of Batman Begins is we don’t care. This Bruce Wayne is an interesting character in his own right – a trick Iron Man was to repeat a few years later, testament to just how influential Nolan’s approach to this sort of material has been. For the first time ever on-screen, The Batman isn’t overshadowed by scenery-chewing, OTT bad guys.

It’s about time too. Few characters are as endlessly fascinating or psychologically complex as The Dark Knight Detective. There are hints early on here that young Bruce Wayne is in danger of going down the Travis Bickle/Bernie Goetz road to self-destruction before he is saved from himself by, er, a fanatical cult of vigilante ninjas. Did someone say “realism…”?

Batman Begins is a perfect match of director and material. Christopher Nolan’s films are all about identity – Following, Memento, Insomnia and subsequently The Prestige and Inception. But he can talk about “realism” all he likes. Batman Begins still demands a tremendously willing suspension of disbelief from the audience – we are still talking about a guy who dresses up like a bat, after all. But then, what film doesn’t…?

So why a mask? And why a bat? Fear is the key. In a neat twist, this Batman turns his own Indiana Jones-like childhood phobia of bats against his enemies. Fear is a weapon and a major theme of this movie and of the post-9/11 era it reflects. 9/11 casts a very long shadow over Batman Begins – a bin Laden-like villain, the al Qaeda-like League of Shadows (SPECTRE reconfigured for the modern world as a fanatical cult), and an evil plot (to literally spread fear) which is 9/11 2.0 in all but name. Early drafts of the script were even subtitled: “Intimidation Game” which sounds like an alt. gameshow from hell. All fright my loves…?

Although Mind Games would be more like it. Nolan knows a thing or two about “theatricality and deception” himself and does like playing games, not least with the audience’s heads. A late-in-the-day reveal comes as a real surprise yet is so obvious if you’re a comics fan (and even if you’re not, probably) that I’m still annoyed I didn’t see it coming. Talk about hidden in plain sight. Why, Nolan – I oughtta…! (He’s also a master at disguising exposition as dynamic action – that sword fight on the ominously cracking ice of a frozen lake.)

Something else Nolan does is turn apparently inherent problems with the super-hero film genre itself on their heads. Multiple villains have long been the, uh, bane of super-hero movies. Super-sequels especially – the dreaded “Too-Many-Crooks” Syndrome! Yet Batman Begins has four of them, starting with a mugger and gradually working its way along the criminal chain to a gangster, a super-villain and finally a charismatic global super-terrorist – THE cinematic uber-villain of the early 21st Century having finally usurped the Hannibal Lecter-style serial killer from his throne. Clearly, it’s not the size of your rogues gallery, it’s what you do with it that counts.

Ra’s al Ghul was an inspired if not immediately obvious choice of villain. Not widely known outside the comics-reading ghetto, crucially, he carried no baggage from previous films as most moviegoers had never heard of him. Ra’s is more Bond villain than super-villain - “Gentlemen. The time has come to spread the word. And the word is… panic”; “Now if you’ll excuse me I have a city to destroy.” Originally conceived in the early seventies as a more realistic, Moriarty-like figure in a successful attempt to rescue Batman from the camp excesses of the sixties TV show (the phenomenal if short-lived success of which almost destroyed the character), Ra’s helped turn The Caped Crusader into The Dark Knight. So it’s apt, having once saved his surrogate son from the shadow of Adam West that Ra’s should return to rescue him again, this time from the ignominious clutches of the dreaded Schumacher!

Indeed, Bond has been a large and growing influence on Nolan’s blockbuster career. Inception was a virtual love letter to OHMSS and if Spot-The-Bond Reference in The Dark Knight Rises was a drinking game, Withnail & I would both urgently require liver transplants! While this influence is less overt in Batman Begins it is there. In the exotic globe-trotting. In the villain’s grandiose plotting and private army. And in the figure of Morgan Freeman’s Lucius Fox – Batman’s “Q” in all but name.

But the biggest influence on Batman Begins by far is the seminal graphic novel, Batman: Year One. There is a lot of Frank Miller’s noir masterpiece in there - Flass, Loeb, Jim Gordon’s portrayal as a born again badass, an iconic set-piece involving bats and the pieta-like tableau of the young Bruce and his murdered parents. But, crucially, there’s a lot that isn’t. Nolan is true to the spirit of Frank Miller without being slavishly devoted to the point of the over-awed adoration which made Watchmen such a sclerotic cinematic experience. And, crucially, Miller isn’t Nolan’s sole inspiration. Ra’s al Ghul was a Denny O’Neil creation and “Henri Ducard” is a nice acknowledgement of Batman screenwriter, Sam Hamm, who created the name (if not the character) for the Detective Comics 50th Anniversary issue back in 1989 – the year of Batman’s release.

Something else Batman Begins shares with Superman is its large, all-star cast. Rutger Hauer is an obvious tribute to Nolan’s favourite movie, Blade Runner. Every shot of the incongruously shanty town-like “Narrows” cries out “Blade Runner!” too. Especially when it’s raining. (Or “shonky town” judging by some of the model work…) And further down the ranks are some great character actors like the always sweatily-reliable Mark Boone Jnr. And who knew that Batman was Ken Barlow’s grandson…?

Katie Holmes (as new addition and love interest, Rachel Dawes) came in for a lot of predictable stick as the cast’s supposedly weak link. But she’s OK in the token underwritten-female role – a recurring feature of Nolan’s boys’ films and his Achilles heel as a writer. Even if, inevitably, she’s a little on the young side to be a high-flying assistant DA. (cf: Superman Returns’ supposedly hard-bitten Lois Lane who must have been all of twelve when The Man of Steel went on sabbatical for ten years.)

Tom Wilkinson, of all people, is something of a revelation as a snarling gangster. So often typecast as emasculated husbands and downtrodden, middle-aged angst personified, this must’ve been a dream come true.

Cillian Murphy is icily creepy as a corrupt psychiatrist with secrets of his own and unexpected links to The Batman’s past – compensation for being the reputed runner-up in the race to fill the cape, presumably. And being a psychiatrist in this context, inevitably there is talk of “Jungian archetypes.” Jung and Dangerous? Or The Jung Poisoner’s Handbook…?

Liam Neeson is taking on almost Mount Rushmore levels of monumental gravitas these days. Like Charlton Heston with acting chops. Or a small planet with a beard.

It goes without saying that Gary Oldman is great as Frank Miller’s bold reinterpretation of Sgt Jim Gordon (still years away from that promotion to Commissioner) as the one clean cop in a city that likes being dirty. It’s nice to see Oldman hold the ham and play a recognisable human being for a change after one or six OTT bad guys too many in recent decades. Too bad he looks like Ned Flanders, though - okily-dokily!

Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy takes itself very seriously indeed (and, following Schumacher’s camp-astrophic Bat-rocity, it was about time too!) but it’s nowhere near as humourless as some critics bafflingly insist. The wonderfully wry and insouciant Morgan Freeman as the sardonic Lucius Fox is drier than one of James Bond’s Martinis: “Expecting to run into much gunfire in these caves?” and “I don’t think they ever tried to market it to the billionaire, spelunking, base-jumping crowd.”

But If Lucius Fox is “Q” to Batman’s 007, then Michael Caine’s Alfred is both The Dark Knight’s acerbic conscience and the Trilogy’s light relief - “What’s the point of all those push-ups if you can’t even lift a bloody log?” So what exactly does Bruce Wayne do with all his time and money? It’s a nice, ironic touch that while one surrogate father teaches Bruce to be Batman, it is Alfred who teaches Batman to be Bruce - driving sports cars, dating film stars, buying things which aren’t for sale - more shades of Citizen Kane - in the forlorn hope that if his master starts pretending to have fun he might have some real fun by accident. Which of course raises the crucial question: which is the mask? The Batman or Bruce Wayne? And speaking of The Batman’s surrogate father (and themes of identity and duality), when Gordon says he’ll get his car, that IS Liam Neeson’s voice growling “I’ve brought MINE!” Isn’t it…?

Marking a return to Alfred Pennyworth’s comic book origins as a tough, no-nonsense, John Bull-like cockney, well, who else were they gonna call? Caine’s deadpan delivery of (the ad-libbed?) “May I suggest you try to avoid landing on your ‘ead” has the usually taciturn Christian Bale visibly cracking up in the background!

And Batman Begins is Bale’s show all the way. Rumour has it the studio was reluctant to cast Bale after a string of flops and Nolan had to really fight to get him. But thank god he did or we might have been lumbered with the likes of Freddie Prinze Jnr! Nolan was right and Bale has more than earned his cowl. His alarming weight loss (for The Machinist) followed by his even more alarming weight (and muscle) gain for this reminding everyone that this Batman is being played by no less than another DeNiro. For Bale is without doubt the finest actor to don the cape yet. We’ve come a long way from Adam West – Holy Oscars, Batman! (Dang. Sorry. Swore I wouldn’t do that.)

Bale said he became “a beast” in the suit and it shows. His Batman is a truly terrifying, almost primal figure, roaring at a quaking Mark Boone Jnr like a wild animal – Jung, free and single-minded, you could say. Bale’s Batman is as brutally efficient as his fighting style which has come in for a lot of stick from people just looking for things to complain about. True, sometimes it is hard to tell what’s going on in the impressionistic fight scenes. But that too is attributable to Nolan’s “realistic” agenda. Real fights aren’t anything like the glamourised Hollywood version we’re so accustomed to.

There is real pain etched on Bale’s face when Bruce has to act the drunken arse to save the lives of his guests. It’s interesting, though, when Bruce sneers at the conspicuous charity of his fellow rich “philanthropists” in The Dark Knight Rises it suggests what he said to them here maybe wasn’t that far from the truth after all. But Bale gets some deadpan laughs too – “Does it come in black?” “Anyone who dresses up as a bat clearly has issues.” And “You know how it is. You’re out at night. Lookin’ for kicks. Someone’s passing ‘round the weaponised hallucinogens…”

But no film is perfect. (You don’t say!) There are plot holes - How does Alfred get The Batman down off that roof? Wouldn’t a giant microwave, well, cook everyone anywhere near it? But I don’t see them ever being an issue with anyone…

The League of Shadows only really exists to make Batman’s undeniably extreme (and illegal) methods seem almost reasonable by comparison. The same way Bat-flicks always feel the need to conjure up “non-canonical” female love interests just so no-one thinks our rubber-fetishising hero is gay or anything. Dr Frederick Wertham still casts a long shadow too, it seems…

Nolan’s foreshadowing isn’t exactly what you’d call subtle either. “It’s not who you are underneath. It’s what you do that defines you.” Nolan does this a lot. (“Why do we fall…?” “You still haven’t given up on me?”) And while it is a bit obvious and on the nose, the dramatic payoff is still undeniably powerful – my favourite bit actually. A real hair-on-the-back-of-the-neck moment.

And this is strong stuff for a 12A certificate – one character’s fear-induced hallucinations (especially how he sees The Batman!) being literally the stuff of nightmares. Then there are the escaped serial killers lurching out of a literal fog of fear like zombies… (I’ve always said Tim Booth out of James has the eyes of a killer!)

But if there’s a legitimate criticism of Batman Begins, it’s the more set-bound comic book fantasy elements do sometimes sit awkwardly with the location-shot realism. Something which presumably struck Nolan himself hence the almost entirely location-shot (and even more “realistic”) The Dark Knight. Looking back on Batman Begins with the benefit of hindsight, visually, it almost looks like a transitional film, halfway between the set-bound, impressionistic Gothic fantasy of Tim Burton and the Michael Mann hyper-realism of what was to come.

Nolan is famously averse to CGI (and, it turns out, 3D) only using it when absolutely necessary and then sparingly. He doesn’t over-rely on it, using it to augment what is already there, not to dazzle the eye. And it is seamless. Batman Begins is one of the best “invisible” effects movies since Citizen Kane – another classic where the audience isn’t even aware they are watching special effects. The bats, for instance, have to be CG – there’s simply no other way they could have been achieved what with insurance cover for rabies being through the roof at the moment! But they don’t look it.

Which highlights another great thing about Batman Begins and Christopher Nolan’s "keepin' it real" filmmaking philosophy. It’s nice to see actual sets for a change. It feels like ages since I saw them last in a summer blockbuster. You don’t need CG to achieve this kind of epic scope, epic scale and epic sweep. You just need some stunning locations – Iceland doubling for China. A majestic score by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard doesn’t hurt either.

Batman Begins ends with an ominous warning about the dangerous escalation represented by The Batman’s theatrics and a teasing hint at a possible sequel which could just be another nod to Batman: Year One. There’s also a recurring, blond-haired, Anime-eyed moppet, who remains intriguingly nameless, and could yet prove to be of future significance to the franchise. [Or not.]

So was Batman Begins The Most Successful Reboot Ever? It certainly proved influential, arguably inspiring the glut of similar reboots which followed, starting with Casino Royale. Which is kinda ironic when you consider the enduring influence Bond has had on The Dark Knight Trilogy

Batman Begins was frankly a revelation (in every sense) after the gaudy, neon-lit car crash that was Batman on Broadway aka: Batman & Robin - the fanboys gave a name to their pain… And it was Schumacher! And, yes, for this fanboy, Batman Begins was almost a religious experience with all the awe and wonder that implies. I could have wept with joy it was so good. Almost too good to be true, in fact. Cos you really get the feeling watching this for the first time that finally, after all these years, someone had done Batman properly. Batman Begins was the film I’d wanted Burton’s Batman to be all those years ago.

Mark Kermode is right – and it’s not often I say that. Nolan is an arthouse director trapped in the body a blockbuster director. The Anti-Bay. The Anti-Schumacher! And not a Bat-nip or Bat-butt in sight - where does he get these wonderful films?

(It’s still a rotten title, though. Batman: Origins or Genesis of The Batman would have been better. How about The Batman Menace? No, I've got it… Batman Royale!)



Great review dude - keep fighting the good fight! Nice to see some proper on topic discussion on the website of the World's Biggest Movie Magazine.

(in reply to chris kilby)
Post #: 24
RE: Batman Begins - 23/8/2012 5:28:40 PM   
cerebusboy


Posts: 1552
Joined: 1/5/2006

quote:

ORIGINAL: chris kilby

I'm even later to this party than I was to The Dark Knight Rises, but what the hey...

Where does he get those wonderful toys? It’s a question which clearly has bugged Christopher Nolan for years. Well now we know – he gets them off that guy in The Shawshank Redemption who can get you anything. Even a Batmobile!

A straight origin story (albeit one told in the anything-but-straight, disjointed narrative style of Jean-Luc Godard or Nic Roeg which only settles down into something more linear and conventional once Citizen Wayne arrives back in Gotham City), Batman Begins is the first Batman film actually about Batman. An idea so obvious it’s a wonder no-one thought of it before.

Actually, someone did. Batman Begins owes a lot to Richard Donner’s Superman – the episodic structure, the stylistic shifts determined by location, the all-star cast - even if, tonally, it is its exact opposite. Which is ironic since Tim Burton’s Batman only got made because screenwriter Sam Hamm deliberately avoided using the Superman template which had mired that version of The Dark Knight in development hell for over a decade. Hamm wanted to avoid lengthy training montages of Bruce Wayne doing push-ups. Yet here we are, twenty years later, with a Batman movie which is basically a two-hour training montage. But what a training montage!

The Batman’s been a lot of things over the years. He’s been camp. He’s been dark. He’s been camp again. He’s even been shite. But he’d never been real before. Well, real-ish. Where Tim Burton gave us the hyper-stylised, mock-Goth fantasy version, Christopher Nolan has opted for verisimilitude - the appearance of a plausible pseudo-reality which is more French Connection than camp desecration.

Nolan carefully builds his Batman from the ground up, rationalising everything as he goes – why a mask, why a bat, and, yes, where he gets those wonderful toys. (In a nice touch, Bruce Wayne has to order thousands of the components which make up the cowl just to avoid raising suspicion.) But he introduces the iconography gradually, perfectly timing the debuts of The Cave, The Suit, The Wheels and what will become The Signal for maximum dramatic impact like the master showman he is.

The Batmobile’s real introduction is the standout setpiece of the entire movie – here, a black… tank accompanied through the streets (and over the rooftops!) of Gotham by Hans Zimmer’s iconic score from Black Rain. Well, if you’re gonna steal, you’re as well stealing from yourself. And it’s still a great piece of music.

Then there are the fanpleasingly iconic shots of the cape billowing in the wind and a stunning money shot of The Batman perched atop the spire of a vertigo-inducingly tall building like a gargoyle which elicited gasps in the cinema. For this Batman is self-consciously self-mythologising; very deliberately turning himself into a symbol. An icon. A legend.

What, in anyone else’s hands, would be a pointlessly reductive and mind-numbingly tedious exercise which just got in the way of the story, in Nolan’s hands becomes the meat of the movie itself and something very special indeed.

But Nolan’s in no rush. (Not until The Batman enters Arkham Asylum, certainly, and the film simply does not let up until its thrillingly visceral roller-coaster climax.) It’s easily an hour before we see Wayne in the batsuit. One of the triumphs of Batman Begins is we don’t care. This Bruce Wayne is an interesting character in his own right – a trick Iron Man was to repeat a few years later, testament to just how influential Nolan’s approach to this sort of material has been. For the first time ever on-screen, The Batman isn’t overshadowed by scenery-chewing, OTT bad guys.

It’s about time too. Few characters are as endlessly fascinating or psychologically complex as The Dark Knight Detective. There are hints early on here that young Bruce Wayne is in danger of going down the Travis Bickle/Bernie Goetz road to self-destruction before he is saved from himself by, er, a fanatical cult of vigilante ninjas. Did someone say “realism…”?

Batman Begins is a perfect match of director and material. Christopher Nolan’s films are all about identity – Following, Memento, Insomnia and subsequently The Prestige and Inception. But he can talk about “realism” all he likes. Batman Begins still demands a tremendously willing suspension of disbelief from the audience – we are still talking about a guy who dresses up like a bat, after all. But then, what film doesn’t…?

So why a mask? And why a bat? Fear is the key. In a neat twist, this Batman turns his own Indiana Jones-like childhood phobia of bats against his enemies. Fear is a weapon and a major theme of this movie and of the post-9/11 era it reflects. 9/11 casts a very long shadow over Batman Begins – a bin Laden-like villain, the al Qaeda-like League of Shadows (SPECTRE reconfigured for the modern world as a fanatical cult), and an evil plot (to literally spread fear) which is 9/11 2.0 in all but name. Early drafts of the script were even subtitled: “Intimidation Game” which sounds like an alt. gameshow from hell. All fright my loves…?

Although Mind Games would be more like it. Nolan knows a thing or two about “theatricality and deception” himself and does like playing games, not least with the audience’s heads. A late-in-the-day reveal comes as a real surprise yet is so obvious if you’re a comics fan (and even if you’re not, probably) that I’m still annoyed I didn’t see it coming. Talk about hidden in plain sight. Why, Nolan – I oughtta…! (He’s also a master at disguising exposition as dynamic action – that sword fight on the ominously cracking ice of a frozen lake.)

Something else Nolan does is turn apparently inherent problems with the super-hero film genre itself on their heads. Multiple villains have long been the, uh, bane of super-hero movies. Super-sequels especially – the dreaded “Too-Many-Crooks” Syndrome! Yet Batman Begins has four of them, starting with a mugger and gradually working its way along the criminal chain to a gangster, a super-villain and finally a charismatic global super-terrorist – THE cinematic uber-villain of the early 21st Century having finally usurped the Hannibal Lecter-style serial killer from his throne. Clearly, it’s not the size of your rogues gallery, it’s what you do with it that counts.

Ra’s al Ghul was an inspired if not immediately obvious choice of villain. Not widely known outside the comics-reading ghetto, crucially, he carried no baggage from previous films as most moviegoers had never heard of him. Ra’s is more Bond villain than super-villain - “Gentlemen. The time has come to spread the word. And the word is… panic”; “Now if you’ll excuse me I have a city to destroy.” Originally conceived in the early seventies as a more realistic, Moriarty-like figure in a successful attempt to rescue Batman from the camp excesses of the sixties TV show (the phenomenal if short-lived success of which almost destroyed the character), Ra’s helped turn The Caped Crusader into The Dark Knight. So it’s apt, having once saved his surrogate son from the shadow of Adam West that Ra’s should return to rescue him again, this time from the ignominious clutches of the dreaded Schumacher!

Indeed, Bond has been a large and growing influence on Nolan’s blockbuster career. Inception was a virtual love letter to OHMSS and if Spot-The-Bond Reference in The Dark Knight Rises was a drinking game, Withnail & I would both urgently require liver transplants! While this influence is less overt in Batman Begins it is there. In the exotic globe-trotting. In the villain’s grandiose plotting and private army. And in the figure of Morgan Freeman’s Lucius Fox – Batman’s “Q” in all but name.

But the biggest influence on Batman Begins by far is the seminal graphic novel, Batman: Year One. There is a lot of Frank Miller’s noir masterpiece in there - Flass, Loeb, Jim Gordon’s portrayal as a born again badass, an iconic set-piece involving bats and the pieta-like tableau of the young Bruce and his murdered parents. But, crucially, there’s a lot that isn’t. Nolan is true to the spirit of Frank Miller without being slavishly devoted to the point of the over-awed adoration which made Watchmen such a sclerotic cinematic experience. And, crucially, Miller isn’t Nolan’s sole inspiration. Ra’s al Ghul was a Denny O’Neil creation and “Henri Ducard” is a nice acknowledgement of Batman screenwriter, Sam Hamm, who created the name (if not the character) for the Detective Comics 50th Anniversary issue back in 1989 – the year of Batman’s release.

Something else Batman Begins shares with Superman is its large, all-star cast. Rutger Hauer is an obvious tribute to Nolan’s favourite movie, Blade Runner. Every shot of the incongruously shanty town-like “Narrows” cries out “Blade Runner!” too. Especially when it’s raining. (Or “shonky town” judging by some of the model work…) And further down the ranks are some great character actors like the always sweatily-reliable Mark Boone Jnr. And who knew that Batman was Ken Barlow’s grandson…?

Katie Holmes (as new addition and love interest, Rachel Dawes) came in for a lot of predictable stick as the cast’s supposedly weak link. But she’s OK in the token underwritten-female role – a recurring feature of Nolan’s boys’ films and his Achilles heel as a writer. Even if, inevitably, she’s a little on the young side to be a high-flying assistant DA. (cf: Superman Returns’ supposedly hard-bitten Lois Lane who must have been all of twelve when The Man of Steel went on sabbatical for ten years.)

Tom Wilkinson, of all people, is something of a revelation as a snarling gangster. So often typecast as emasculated husbands and downtrodden, middle-aged angst personified, this must’ve been a dream come true.

Cillian Murphy is icily creepy as a corrupt psychiatrist with secrets of his own and unexpected links to The Batman’s past – compensation for being the reputed runner-up in the race to fill the cape, presumably. And being a psychiatrist in this context, inevitably there is talk of “Jungian archetypes.” Jung and Dangerous? Or The Jung Poisoner’s Handbook…?

Liam Neeson is taking on almost Mount Rushmore levels of monumental gravitas these days. Like Charlton Heston with acting chops. Or a small planet with a beard.

It goes without saying that Gary Oldman is great as Frank Miller’s bold reinterpretation of Sgt Jim Gordon (still years away from that promotion to Commissioner) as the one clean cop in a city that likes being dirty. It’s nice to see Oldman hold the ham and play a recognisable human being for a change after one or six OTT bad guys too many in recent decades. Too bad he looks like Ned Flanders, though - okily-dokily!

Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy takes itself very seriously indeed (and, following Schumacher’s camp-astrophic Bat-rocity, it was about time too!) but it’s nowhere near as humourless as some critics bafflingly insist. The wonderfully wry and insouciant Morgan Freeman as the sardonic Lucius Fox is drier than one of James Bond’s Martinis: “Expecting to run into much gunfire in these caves?” and “I don’t think they ever tried to market it to the billionaire, spelunking, base-jumping crowd.”

But If Lucius Fox is “Q” to Batman’s 007, then Michael Caine’s Alfred is both The Dark Knight’s acerbic conscience and the Trilogy’s light relief - “What’s the point of all those push-ups if you can’t even lift a bloody log?” So what exactly does Bruce Wayne do with all his time and money? It’s a nice, ironic touch that while one surrogate father teaches Bruce to be Batman, it is Alfred who teaches Batman to be Bruce - driving sports cars, dating film stars, buying things which aren’t for sale - more shades of Citizen Kane - in the forlorn hope that if his master starts pretending to have fun he might have some real fun by accident. Which of course raises the crucial question: which is the mask? The Batman or Bruce Wayne? And speaking of The Batman’s surrogate father (and themes of identity and duality), when Gordon says he’ll get his car, that IS Liam Neeson’s voice growling “I’ve brought MINE!” Isn’t it…?

Marking a return to Alfred Pennyworth’s comic book origins as a tough, no-nonsense, John Bull-like cockney, well, who else were they gonna call? Caine’s deadpan delivery of (the ad-libbed?) “May I suggest you try to avoid landing on your ‘ead” has the usually taciturn Christian Bale visibly cracking up in the background!

And Batman Begins is Bale’s show all the way. Rumour has it the studio was reluctant to cast Bale after a string of flops and Nolan had to really fight to get him. But thank god he did or we might have been lumbered with the likes of Freddie Prinze Jnr! Nolan was right and Bale has more than earned his cowl. His alarming weight loss (for The Machinist) followed by his even more alarming weight (and muscle) gain for this reminding everyone that this Batman is being played by no less than another DeNiro. For Bale is without doubt the finest actor to don the cape yet. We’ve come a long way from Adam West – Holy Oscars, Batman! (Dang. Sorry. Swore I wouldn’t do that.)

Bale said he became “a beast” in the suit and it shows. His Batman is a truly terrifying, almost primal figure, roaring at a quaking Mark Boone Jnr like a wild animal – Jung, free and single-minded, you could say. Bale’s Batman is as brutally efficient as his fighting style which has come in for a lot of stick from people just looking for things to complain about. True, sometimes it is hard to tell what’s going on in the impressionistic fight scenes. But that too is attributable to Nolan’s “realistic” agenda. Real fights aren’t anything like the glamourised Hollywood version we’re so accustomed to.

There is real pain etched on Bale’s face when Bruce has to act the drunken arse to save the lives of his guests. It’s interesting, though, when Bruce sneers at the conspicuous charity of his fellow rich “philanthropists” in The Dark Knight Rises it suggests what he said to them here maybe wasn’t that far from the truth after all. But Bale gets some deadpan laughs too – “Does it come in black?” “Anyone who dresses up as a bat clearly has issues.” And “You know how it is. You’re out at night. Lookin’ for kicks. Someone’s passing ‘round the weaponised hallucinogens…”

But no film is perfect. (You don’t say!) There are plot holes - How does Alfred get The Batman down off that roof? Wouldn’t a giant microwave, well, cook everyone anywhere near it? But I don’t see them ever being an issue with anyone…

The League of Shadows only really exists to make Batman’s undeniably extreme (and illegal) methods seem almost reasonable by comparison. The same way Bat-flicks always feel the need to conjure up “non-canonical” female love interests just so no-one thinks our rubber-fetishising hero is gay or anything. Dr Frederick Wertham still casts a long shadow too, it seems…

Nolan’s foreshadowing isn’t exactly what you’d call subtle either. “It’s not who you are underneath. It’s what you do that defines you.” Nolan does this a lot. (“Why do we fall…?” “You still haven’t given up on me?”) And while it is a bit obvious and on the nose, the dramatic payoff is still undeniably powerful – my favourite bit actually. A real hair-on-the-back-of-the-neck moment.

And this is strong stuff for a 12A certificate – one character’s fear-induced hallucinations (especially how he sees The Batman!) being literally the stuff of nightmares. Then there are the escaped serial killers lurching out of a literal fog of fear like zombies… (I’ve always said Tim Booth out of James has the eyes of a killer!)

But if there’s a legitimate criticism of Batman Begins, it’s the more set-bound comic book fantasy elements do sometimes sit awkwardly with the location-shot realism. Something which presumably struck Nolan himself hence the almost entirely location-shot (and even more “realistic”) The Dark Knight. Looking back on Batman Begins with the benefit of hindsight, visually, it almost looks like a transitional film, halfway between the set-bound, impressionistic Gothic fantasy of Tim Burton and the Michael Mann hyper-realism of what was to come.

Nolan is famously averse to CGI (and, it turns out, 3D) only using it when absolutely necessary and then sparingly. He doesn’t over-rely on it, using it to augment what is already there, not to dazzle the eye. And it is seamless. Batman Begins is one of the best “invisible” effects movies since Citizen Kane – another classic where the audience isn’t even aware they are watching special effects. The bats, for instance, have to be CG – there’s simply no other way they could have been achieved what with insurance cover for rabies being through the roof at the moment! But they don’t look it.

Which highlights another great thing about Batman Begins and Christopher Nolan’s "keepin' it real" filmmaking philosophy. It’s nice to see actual sets for a change. It feels like ages since I saw them last in a summer blockbuster. You don’t need CG to achieve this kind of epic scope, epic scale and epic sweep. You just need some stunning locations – Iceland doubling for China. A majestic score by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard doesn’t hurt either.

Batman Begins ends with an ominous warning about the dangerous escalation represented by The Batman’s theatrics and a teasing hint at a possible sequel which could just be another nod to Batman: Year One. There’s also a recurring, blond-haired, Anime-eyed moppet, who remains intriguingly nameless, and could yet prove to be of future significance to the franchise. [Or not.]

So was Batman Begins The Most Successful Reboot Ever? It certainly proved influential, arguably inspiring the glut of similar reboots which followed, starting with Casino Royale. Which is kinda ironic when you consider the enduring influence Bond has had on The Dark Knight Trilogy

Batman Begins was frankly a revelation (in every sense) after the gaudy, neon-lit car crash that was Batman on Broadway aka: Batman & Robin - the fanboys gave a name to their pain… And it was Schumacher! And, yes, for this fanboy, Batman Begins was almost a religious experience with all the awe and wonder that implies. I could have wept with joy it was so good. Almost too good to be true, in fact. Cos you really get the feeling watching this for the first time that finally, after all these years, someone had done Batman properly. Batman Begins was the film I’d wanted Burton’s Batman to be all those years ago.

Mark Kermode is right – and it’s not often I say that. Nolan is an arthouse director trapped in the body a blockbuster director. The Anti-Bay. The Anti-Schumacher! And not a Bat-nip or Bat-butt in sight - where does he get these wonderful films?

(It’s still a rotten title, though. Batman: Origins or Genesis of The Batman would have been better. How about The Batman Menace? No, I've got it… Batman Royale!)



Batman Begins is a great title! Fannying about with colons should be left to pish like that Wolverine movie.

(in reply to chris kilby)
Post #: 25
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