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Saturday, June 18, 2005

Batman Begins

I'll add a little more later, but I'll give you what I have now. RUN, don't walk to the nearest cineplex.

As the reimagining of the previous Batman quadrilogy Batman Begins will naturally draw comparisons to the 1989 Tim Burton directed, Danny Elman/Prince scored, Michael Keaton/Jack Nicholson/Kim Basinger starred version of Batman. The previous version of Batman rightly deserves a place among the great films. It pegged the KICKASS Meter and was the best superhero film since Superman 11 years ealier.

I'll give you my summation of Batman Begins and explain it a bit: IT KICKS ASS! Batman Begins pegs the KICKASS Meter. In many ways it is even better than Batman! In comparison Revenge Of The Sith, which I saw a few weeks ago, is a downright mediocre film. Part of the problem of comparing films is the treatment between the two is vastly different. The original Batman was a fantastic persona that had a fantastic world built around him. You needed an Over The Top villian like a Joker played by Jack Nicholson to fit in. Batman was a great comic book made into a great movie. Batman Begins takes a different tack. Batman Begins is set in the real world. This is easily New York, Boston, Philidelphia, Chicago (part was filmed in Chicago), or any other large city in the Northeastern U.S. This movie shows how the worst parts of our society can create a person who desires to be a Batman. The realistic approach seperates this from any other so-called comic book/superhero movie I can think of.

Actually I take part of that back. This IS NOT a comic book/superhero movie. This a drama at its best. This drama is about the will of a man to do an impossible task.

The cast is superb and from top to bottom is loaded with some heavyweight actors. They may not be superstars, but they have the cred. Liam Neeson (once again a fantastic mentoring figure), Michael Caine (if anyone can takeover for Michael Gough as the faithful butler Alfred it is Michael Caine), Ken Wanatabe, Rutger Hauer, Gary Oldham (last good cop Sgt. Gordon), and Morgan Freeman are all thesbian heavyweights. I've never seen Christian Bale in anything, but I understand he is highly regarded in the field. After seeing Batman Begins I'll affirm that. He played Bruce Wayne/Batman with perfect intensity and floppiness when the scene required.

Which leads to the weakest cast member: Katie Holmes. I was highly impressed with her acting actually, but she reveals the biggest flaw of the movie. Either Batman Begins deals with a Batman in his early 30s or so and his friend a tough minded Assistant District Attorney Rachel Dawes played by Katie Holmes (age 26 now) looks too damn young to be a woman with that much experience and responsibility. Or, if everyone is in their mid-20s or so the character of Rachel Dawes can't be a lawyer earlier in the movie because she wouldn't be old enough to graduated from college yet, much less law school. The movie is THAT GOOD so I have to bitch about a flaw like that.

BTW: the new Batmobile KICKS ASS! People say it is a Bat ESSUVEE and they're wrong. Bat-Tank is a better description. The special effect department made a real Batmobile that didn't rely too much on computerized special effects. Much of what you see in the movie with the Batmobile is what was actually filmed! Kudos to the FX department for making something that real it could do 0-60 is less than 6 seconds, turn, brake, and survive a running fall of 20 feet. "I gotta get me one of those!"

This movie is 2 hours and 20 minuts of your life well spent.

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