Vulcan Stev's Database

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Vulcan Stev Family Movie Review: Batman Begins

batman_begins_ver3Starring:
Christian Bale …  Bruce Wayne / Batman
Michael Caine …  Alfred
Liam Neeson …  Henri Ducard
Katie Holmes …  Rachel Dawes
Gary Oldman …  Jim Gordon
Cillian Murphy …  Dr. Jonathan Crane
Tom Wilkinson …  Carmine Falcone
Rutger Hauer …  Earle
Ken Watanabe …  Ra’s Al Ghul
Mark Boone Junior …  Flass
Linus Roache …  Thomas Wayne
Morgan Freeman …  Lucius Fox
Larry Holden …  Finch
Gerard Murphy …  Judge Faden
Colin McFarlane …  Loeb

Synopsis from IMDb: In tone with the early “Batman: Year One” style comics. As a boy a young Bruce Wayne watched in horror as his millionaire parents were slain in front of his eyes, a trauma which led him to become obsessed with revenge but his chance is cruelly taken away from him by fate. After disappearing to the East where he seeks counsel with the dangerous but honorable ninja cult leader known as Ra’s Al-Ghul, he returns to his now decaying Gotham City overrun by organized crime and dangerous individuals manipulating the system whilst the company he inherited is slowly being pulled out from under him. The discovery of a cave under his mansion, and a prototype armored suit leads him to take on a new persona, one which will strike fear into the hearts of men who do wrong – he becomes, Batman. In the new guise, and with the help of rising cop Jim Gordon, Batman sets out to take down the various nefarious schemes in motion by individuals such as mafia don Falcone, the twisted doctor/drug dealer Jonathan ‘The Scarecrow’ Crane, and a mysterious third party that is quite familiar with Wayne and waiting to strike when the time is right.

Reviewers: VS, PIT #1, PIT #2, PIT #3

VS: 1.95 pointed ears
This is THE definitive Batman movie.  The Dark Knight would not have been made had this movie not striven for the greatness it achieved.  Gone is the camp of Adam West’s portrayal.  Gone is the overly dark tone of Tim Burton’s take on the franchise.  Chris Nolan has taken the franchise and portrayed Gothan City as realplace on the Eastern seaboard.  Batman is equal parts concerned do-gooder and avenging crusader.  Christian Bale got it right playing Batman as the person and Bruce Wayne as the mask.

This movie takes the entire scope of the Batman mythos and uses it to color the world.  Batman fans caught the subtle nuances scattered throughout.  Alfred and Lucious Fox are active participants in Batman’s war on crime.  I only have two complaints.  The first was in all of the attention to detail the writer made Henri Ducard and Ra’s al Ghul the same person.  The Batman geek in me screams internally every time I watch that particular bit.  The other is Ra’s is using a microwave emitter to vaporize the water supply?  Why aren’t the people standing next to the emitter suddenly dehydrating?  I can forgive Mr Zsasz’s lack of scars as he is clothed in this movie and his scars could very well be covered under the clothing.

PIT #1: 2 pointed ears
Batman for the 21st century.  A plausible explanation for why Bruce Wayne behaves as he does.  You don’t need to be a fan of the comic to get this movie.  There’s enough there to please the Batman geeks, but not so much as to confuse the average viewer.  I like this version of Batman better than the Batman movies of the 90’s

PIT #2: 2 pointed ears
An absolutely great re-boot to Batman.  The Batman movie before this nearly killed the film franchise off completely.  This movie should set up a nice long series of films.

PIT #3: 1.95 pointed ears
This movie rocks.  The action is nearly non-stop.  There’s no kissing until the very end.  Cop cars go flying everywhere and they crash a train.  What more can you ask for?  I do want to know why Batman’s trainer and Darth Vader’s trainer are the same person.

7.9 pointed ears out of 8.   Chris Nolan succeeds in rebooting the Bat-franchise.  Christian Bale succeeds in portraying a watchable Batman.

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March 13, 2009 - Posted by | Comic Books, DC, Movie Reviews | , , , , , , , ,

5 Comments »

  1. Not sure how old the PITs are, but if you move on to The Dark Knight, it does deserve the PG-13 rating (it is pretty intense, but also very good).

    Comment by Ruminator | March 13, 2009

  2. I would echo Larry’s comments above. My wife thought it was unnecessarily too dark. I thought it was just the right amount of darkness in order to let the light shine that much more brightly.

    In any case, as with Watchmen, some serious thought needs to be given before bringing kids to DK.

    Comment by Hank Harwell | March 13, 2009

  3. 17, 14, and 10. We already reviewed TDK. Decided we needed to review BB for my upcoming GitUo: Batman article. To me TDK improves on the Bat-Franchise, perfect scores from the whole family except the Mrs.

    Maybe I need to preface these reviews with a disclaimer stating the kids ages. 😎

    Comment by Vulcan Stev | March 13, 2009

  4. Stev, you and I have both discussed appropriate ages for kids. I have little to no reservations with your discretion. I just think a small reminder on films like DK and now Watchmen, to hopefully lead parents to stop and think one more time before they bring their little kids in.

    That’s all.

    Comment by Hank Harwell | March 13, 2009

  5. Hank, PG-13 and R. There are your reminders. Though, I do agree that DK really straddled the line between the two. I have read Watchmen, but I haven’t seen the movie. If it is a faithful adaptation of the comic I can certainly see why (I think it was you over at the cafe) someone suggested an NC-17 would not be out of line.

    I think these movies demonstrate some drift in the scale. Between PG-13 and R I don’t have much of a problem. It’s the drift I see between G and PG that bugs me. But, that’s a topic for another day.

    I really need to watch BB again before I can comment, BUT I can not wait for your GITUO for these. Yay!

    Comment by drcheckmate | March 15, 2009


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