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Alexander

Batman Begins

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Just got back from seeing this. Will definitely see it again with my wife, ASAP.

Warning: Spoilers ahead...

First of all...this is not a prequel to the 1989 Tim Burton film. That film established (contrary to the comic book's mythology) that Jack Napier was the Wayne's killer. Jack Napier was the name Burton and Sam Hamm gave the Joker (who has no name in the comic). This film has it right: that Bruce Wayne's parents were murdered by a mugger named Joe Chill. And that's just one example of how this film gets it right...

The film is loosely based on Frank Miller's "Batman: Year One" and on Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale's excellent Batman stories (such as "The Long Halloween") which are set in the "Year One" universe. In this film, Bruce Wayne is a man in his late 20s, flailing about trying to find a way to avenge his parents. Jim Gordon is not yet Commissioner of the Gotham PD. He is partnered with a corrupt cop named Flass. The film makes much of the corruption within Gotham's government. Katie Holmes (in an outstanding performance) plays a childhood friend of Bruce Wayne's who now works in the Gotham DA's office trying to bring down a local gangster named Falcone (nicknamed "The Roman" in "Year One" and "The Long Halloween"). Sadly, Harvey Dent is not in evidence in Gotham's DA office as yet. Maybe in the next movie.

One of the things I HATED about both the Burton and Schumacher films was the fact that they were so jam packed with villians that there was no room for the Batman character (much less Bruce Wayne). This film has no fewer than THREE major villians (The Roman, Ra's Al Ghul, and the Scarecrow...four if you count the guy to whom Gordon alludes in the last scene), yet Batman is never shortchanged. This film is ABOUT Bruce Wayne in a way that Burton's 1989 film was not. The film explores Wayne's motives and his methods and makes you feel you KNOW the guy. Christian Bale has NAILED Wayne. His Batman isn't quite as good, though. At times it feels like he's trying to channel Keaton. But considering he actually spends MORE screen time as Wayne, it isn't as big a problem as you might think. I do wish they'd redesign the costume, though. I hate all that rubber. Batman needs to be able to move his head!

There are a number of great performances in this film. Bale and Holmes both do a great job. Michael Caine as Alfred and Morgan Freeman as Fox (a weapons designer who aids Wayne in his war on crime) take on the father figure roles in young Bruce's life, and are superb. Gary Oldman has a weariness that makes him a great Jim Gordon (I wish they'd given him a bit more screentime and more to do as Gordon). Liam Neeson plays another kind of father figure to Bruce, and he strikes the balance between good and evil in a wholly believable way (unlike whatshisname as Anakin/Darth Vader). Rutger Hauer doesn't get to do too much as a venal businessman who tries to dupe Wayne out of his father's business, but it's nice that he ISN'T connected with the Big Plot to destroy Gotham City. I wasn't familliar with Cillian Murphy, but he's outstanding as the Scarecrow. I've long been a fan of Tom Wilkenson ("Shakespeare in Love," "The Importance of Being Ernest"), and he doesn't disappoint as Falcone.

Chris Nolan has made THE Batman film. This is not "Batman 5." This is "Batman 1: A New Beginning." Take THAT Keaton!

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Thanks for weighing in. I'm going to see it this weekend. Been looking forward to this and it seemed promising; glad that the promise seems realized.

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This looks like it might be fun,

will have to start the persuasion routine ( :wub: evil male that I am )

to put this on the to see list

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Just got back from seeing this.  Will definitely see it again with my wife, ASAP.

Did ASAP like the movie as much as you did?

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My missus took very little persuasion, we are off to see it this weekend.

:cool:

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Just got back from seeing this.  Will definitely see it again with my wife, ASAP.

Did ASAP like the movie as much as you did?

Cute. No, I saw it by myself today (wife isn't as into comic book movies), but I will drag her kicking and screaming to see it...

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Just be sure to take the rest of her as well!

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Just be sure to take the rest of her as well!

:lol:

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I dunno about Asap, but I'd rather have my ass watch a comic book movie than my eyes... :g

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I dunno about Asap, but I'd rather have my ass watch a comic book movie than my eyes... :g

It has everything to do with how important comics were to you when you were growing up. My dad got me started young on his Marvel backissues, and I've been hooked ever since. Every comic fan has wondered how his or her favorite hero would look on the silver screen, which is why we're such suckers for these movies...

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I dunno about Asap, but I'd rather have my ass watch a comic book movie than my eyes... :g

It has everything to do with how important comics were to you when you were growing up. My dad got me started young on his Marvel backissues, and I've been hooked ever since. Every comic fan has wondered how his or her favorite hero would look on the silver screen, which is why we're such suckers for these movies...

No, it doesn't. I'll take a back seat to no one as a rabid comic fan, not only growing up, but as an adult. Admittedly, I stepped away from the scene after losing my life savings trying to make a go with my comic shop, but believe me, being a comic fan growing up has nothing to do with it. Nor is your comment about every fan picturing their favorite in the movies true. I never cared, because to me movies and comics are completely seperate media, and I realize that what's magical about comics doesn't translate properly into movies.

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I fall sort of in between Mark and Alexander in my comic book fandom and desire to see the movie-ization of a comic.

When I was seven or so in 1962 or so the Marvels started to take off: FF and Spidey and my real favorites: Journey into Mystery and Strange Tales. My father forbade me to read this stuff which was a mistake because I managed to find a lot of them and hide them in my room, Finally a few years later my dad told me I could collect some if I wanted and he came in the next day to my room and saw a two foot stack!

And then moving to Africa in 1966 I was afraid I would not find the comics I was addicted to, but in Addis Ababa there was one English book store, Giannopolis and eventually the comics would appear from Europe or occasionally from the US. In Swaziland there was a store I could get them all. It was really weird to read some of these very Amerian cultural pieces in the middle of a multiracial and multinational dorm room in M'Babane.

I do feel that the comic book experience at heart is very noncinematic, it's all your personal imagination at play along with the framework offered on the newsprint pages (I quit comics when they got all slick and such, not because of that but because I was in my early twenties and had to learn how to spend time in reality!) To my way of thinking the first movies along the comic book line were juste laughingly bad. Superman, etc. Sheesh. I hated that.

But technology came along and the movies got better, and directors came along that really wanted to do comic book movies because they loved the material, and that didn't hurt. The best ones really communicated the love of the material and came up with interesting comic book movies. I never felt they were in fact MY versions. For the most part only a few actually were rooted in the comics that I read and enjoyed. But I could view them as someone's version that they wanted to share, and that was fun. So Xmen, Spidey, Hulk, Daredevil, Elektra--I enjoy these. I'm eager to see Batman Begins and Fantastic Four! I'll probably skip Ghost Rider with Nicholas Cage. . . :ph34r:

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Just got back from Batman Returns. It was great, the best of all the Batman films so far by a long chalk. The only minor carp was Liam Neeson who just wasn't bad enough for me. Still a splendid film for the young and dark at heart. Excuse me while I get back to sewing my Bat Cape! :tup

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I'm a little less impressed by the film, but it was probably the very best Batman film (I really don't have high expectations for Batman films!)

I could have done without Katie Holmes entirely. But I did like the Al Ghoul and Scarecrow appearances.

Tell me, learned experts, does this redefining the myth align itself with the Year One comic version (i. e. was the League of Shadows part of it, was Al Ghoul the trainer, was Rachel a character?) I've never read the comic version. I quit reading Batman when Giordano was inking it and I read the first Dark Knight graphic novel and that was it.

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I mentioned this on the other board, and I hate being a buzzkill, but the filmmakers did WAY TOO LITTLE to make the setting of the film look like Gotham City. This movie, folks, is a Batman movie that takes place in Chicago, except with three "L" train tracks instead of just one, and a small ghetto CGI-ed into where Navy Pier would be. This was IMO the only real fault of the film, but its a BIG one when the viewer doesn't feel like they are in Gotham City. I envy those of you who didn't notice this, but when you live in a place all your life, its hard to not notice. The Sears Tower and the cars with Illinois license plates didn't help much either.

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Yeah, well put.

I went to college at the U of C and I didn't fail to notice Chicago in the film.

BUT. . . I always sort of felt that Chicago WAS Gotham City! :P

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BUT. . . I always sort of felt that Chicago WAS Gotham City!  :P

:D Yeah, no kidding!! I'm beginning to wonder if the blatent look of Gotham City as Chicago was deliberate.

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It is entirely possible that what they were trying to do was make Gotham distinct from New York City (and, by extention, from Metropolis).

At some point, back in the 40s, a decsion was made at DC to set their comics in fictional cities. Superman's Metropolis and Batman's Gotham were always thinly disguised stand-ins for New York. Then came Marvel in the early 60s, which set most if not ALL of its books in New York. Since then, most of DCs books take place in these very poorly conceived settings. Tim Burton's crumbling Gotham was really based on Miller's version in "Dark Knight." "Year One" (also by Miller) is set in a more "realistic" Gotham. I actually appreciated the film's desire to distinguish itself from Burton's films by creating a different Gotham. It looked like a city people might live in, rather than a gothic playground.

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I'm a little less impressed by the film, but it was probably the very best Batman film (I really don't have high expectations for Batman films!)

I could have done without Katie Holmes entirely.  But I did like the Al Ghoul and Scarecrow appearances. 

Tell me, learned experts, does this redefining the myth align itself with the Year One comic version (i. e. was the League of Shadows part of it, was Al Ghoul the trainer, was Rachel a character?)  I've never read the comic version.  I quit reading Batman when Giordano was inking it and I read the first Dark Knight graphic novel and that was it.

No, "Year One" is more of an inspiration than a source. The book concentrates on Bruce Wayne's attempts at bringing down the corrupt city government (personified by Commissioner Loeb) and the mob (Falcone) and on Lieutenant Gordon's first year as a cop in Gotham. The Gordan material is brilliant, and not used at all in the film. There's also quite a bit done in the book with a young dominatrix/prostitute who starts dressing up as a cat following her first encounter with a young Bruce Wayne...

My favorite sequence in the book is when Bruce tries to go out dressed up as a crazy Viet Nam vet and winds up getting his ass kicked by a bunch of hookers.

The League of Shadows does not appear in "Year One" and Rachel is not a character.

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Thanks Alexander.

Interesting choices they made. . . .

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Very good movie - much better than I expected. Easily the best Batmon movie of the five (I never liked the first Burton one all that much) and the first to really do Bruce and Batman justice. I had a gleeful smile on my face and the occassional tear in my eye while watching this. I'm with Alex about really caring when they get these things right - it's like a childhood dream come true.

The film's a bit too long and slow to get started and the specific Scarecrow/Al Ghoul story that was told wouldn't have been my first choice, but I gotta say that Nolan executed it near-perfectly. Bale was a much better Bruce/Batman than I expected, and I can only hope the same creative team returns for the inevitable sequel. I can't wait!

Now to see how Fox has screwed up the FF...

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I guess unlike a lot of other people I really dug the first Batman movie (saw it about 10 times when I was 11 or 12). Didn't like the other ones at all, 3 and 4 really sucked. But I agree -- just came back from the theaters and this was definitely the best one out of the 5. One of the best action movies I've seen in a long time and it was nice that after the Schumacher movies they brought the darkness back into Gotham.

Guy

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Batman Begins...but will it ever end.

Just got back from seeing this. I think the television series Roots was actually shorter. And also, does lowering your voice automatically make you Batmanic, or was that acting?

O.K...I know I'm being a little harsh. I thought it was o.k. overall. Just get tired (as I did in Star Wars, return of the sequel) that every single microscopic detail of backstory has to be filled in before any damn action or plot can take place in these frikkin' movies!!!! I don't give a shit that Batman learned karate in a temple for wayward gay bad guys. I don't care that he fell into a well and then flashbacked 8 million times.

Just show me the bad guys and kick their ass. That's what we all want to see. 50 year old nerd males clutching comic books care about your silly backstories...the rest of us just want to see Batman punch a guy.

Edited by Soul Stream

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Just show me the bad guys and kick their ass.  That's what we all want to see.  50 year old nerd males clutching comic books care about your silly backstories...the rest of us just want to see Batman punch a guy.

Gotta say, that's the kind of attitude that gave us the last couple of (horrible) Batman flicks... :w;)

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Just show me the bad guys and kick their ass.  That's what we all want to see.  50 year old nerd males clutching comic books care about your silly backstories...the rest of us just want to see Batman punch a guy.

Gotta say, that's the kind of attitude that gave us the last couple of (horrible) Batman flicks... :w;)

Yeah, but isn't that what comic book charactors should be doing? Kicking interesting criminals asses. I see nothing wrong with that. This one does the same thing, except it's buried in bat-istory. I'm not sure what makes this Batman a good one and the others bad. The special effects are better and you have some good supporting actors true. But I thought the story itself was pretty lame although well executed. Actually though the Batman with Michael Keaton was the best one.

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