Elephant's Batman Begins review...spoiler free, I think

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  • Elephant's Batman Begins review...spoiler free, I think

    Yes, some will complain that I started my own review thread. But this movie-going experience was too important to me. And I have a lot to say. I've said for quite some time that I believed Christopher Nolan would do everything right with this movie. He did.

    Batman Begins is the best superhero movie ever made. Hands down.

    Where all of the other Batman movies failed (and I'm obviously referring to Burton's films because Schumacher's failed everywhere) is that they had no foundation to build on. Nolan believes that setting up Bruce Wayne is integral to understanding Batman. And it turns out to be an interesting process. We've never seen Bruce Wayne so full of anger and hurt. We've never seen Bruce ready to pull a gun out and kill the man who murdered his parents. We've never seen the real guilt he harbors for their death. We do now. It's completely believeable seeing Bruce become Batman because he's simply becoming somebody who can fight back using fear...which is ironic because fear is the reason he's doing this in the first place. It was fear that caused him to ask his parents to leave that theater early. But seeing this man learn the ropes of crime fighting and sometimes fail, brings a great reality to Batman. Bruce is a messed up guy. He's got a lot of problems. That has never come across until now. Everybody assumed it about Bruce. Nolan delivers it as fact. And that's important. We can now start over doing everything right. Because the foundation is there.

    Fear again is important with our villains. We have Scarecrow, who uses fear as a weapon. It's only proper that Batman fight him. Fear is the theme. Batman also fights the man who taught him how to use fear...so how do you defeat a villain that is above fear? It's really the way to go, in my opinion. Besides, this is Batman's origin. He shouldn't jump into some fight with a flashy villain. Nolan keeps it real. Scarecrow isn't some shape-shifting alien. He's a sick guy who puts on a burlap sack mask and drugs people. All believable. I think when the Joker shows his face in the sequel, it's going to be a real, but deranged, man who crudely paints his face to cause fear. Like Gordon said in the movie - it's about theatrics. But theatrics are based in reality. Batman throws his "batarang" like a ninja star, not a boomerang. Why? Because it's sensible. Nolan never takes us out of reality. Not for a second. Even Batman's gliding and base jumping are fully explained in logical ways within the context of the movie. A context which is very close to reality. So if Batman, deep down, remains a man. Then the villains should also remain men. And I have no problems with the attack on Gotham story line. There needs to be a bigger threat and it was believeable within the context of the movie. Batman is not out to save a damsel in distress, he's out to save Gotham.

    This may be the best supporting cast I've ever seen, especially in a comic book movie. Caine, Oldman, and Freeman are absolutley spectacular. Their characters are brimming with depth. They are allies with a quiet understanding and appreciation for what Bruce does. They're the few good people left in Gotham. And they're all a necessary part in making Batman a reality. How nice is it to see Bruce's friendship with Lucius Fox? How nice is it to put logic and reality behind all of those Bat Toys? Bruce didn't just build some suit from scratch. There's science involved. There's people involved. It's much more solid than anything Burton did.

    I actually found the script to be very full, the dialogue unusually strong. And this is coming from a non-fan of David Goyer. The cinematography and production design were simply amazing. Everything had the perfect goth look. Look at Wayne Manor. Compare it to Burton's. It felt like an actual home. I never felt like anybody got this right before. It never felt like a person could actually live in this place until now.

    Let me finish with the two most important elements of this film. First is the top-notch performance by Bale. Bale IS Batman. And he's Bruce Wayne. That's important to remember. The other element is Nolan. He puts everything on the line here. He has given us a Batman movie that is utterly surprising. It's actually a scary movie. The hallucination scenes, the fear scenes...all frightening as hell. This movie could've earned an R for mood alone. Nolan was willing to take away all of the color and make this movie true to it's source - no matter the consequences. He gave me the Batman of my dreams. Exactly what I wanted. I wouldn't have directed a frame differently. But it's not the Batman that everybody is ready for. Not the Batman they expect. Most audiences might be shocked. But that's okay. We're starting over. Doing it right. And I believe that Nolan nailed the action. The close angles worked. Perhaps seeing Batman in all wide shots is what turns the Dark Knight into just a man in a suit. He's supposed to be full of stealth, fear, heart-pounding curiosity. Seeing Batman in plain view isn't necessarily the way to keep him interesting to the audience. It think we should feel what the bad guys feel. It's a gift for a director to do that, not something to complain about. What's scary is that if Nolan doesn't direct the sequels, the whole franchise will die again. Nobody else could replicate his delicate handling of the darkness in this movie. But in his hands, we finally have an opportunity to have a complete, full Batman saga.

    I'm giving this movie 10 out of 10. It's the best movie I've seen all year and the best comic book adaptation ever. I have to declare it perfect. It actually lived up to every single one of my expectations, and then went beyond them.

    Ele...

  • #2
    Re: Elephant's Batman Begins review...spoiler free, I think

    Originally posted by elephant1978
    Batman Begins is the best superhero movie ever made. Hands down....I'm giving this movie 10 out of 10. It's the best movie I've seen all year and the best comic book adaptation ever. I have to declare it perfect. It actually lived up to every single one of my expectations, and then went beyond them.

    Ele...
    *sigh*

    Oh, Ele.... And all this time we seemed to agree on a so many of the topics on this board.

    This will definitely put a damper on our relationship. (I sense you're absolutely crushed by this news, too.... )

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Elephant's Batman Begins review...spoiler free, I think

      Originally posted by MacG
      *sigh*

      Oh, Ele.... And all this time we seemed to agree on a so many of the topics on this board.

      This will definitely put a damper on our relationship. (I sense you're absolutely crushed by this news, too.... )

      You hated BB, I like it. Maybe I made an emotional connection you did not.
      It is all subjective




      Faster would be better! ~ Capt. Malcolm Reynolds

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Elephant's Batman Begins review...spoiler free, I think



        When have I EVER said in any of my posts, "You guys are wrong for liking this movie?"

        When have I EVER said, "My opinion (<--- OPINION being the operative word) is valid and yours isn't?"

        If you can find those posts, please let me know and I'll either delete or alter them accordingly.

        You hated BB, I like it. Maybe I made an emotional connection you did not.
        It is all subjective .


        Exactly. It's all subjective.... So what's your point?



        You'd gain nothing...just as I'm gaining nothing. I'm not trying to go "Tom Cruise" on anyone here and force my beliefs on you.

        And again, what's with this "right" and "wrong" stance you seem to be applying to my posts? When have I said Ele or anyone else is wrong for liking this movie?

        Don't put words into my mouth, dude. I find that very frustrating.


        Obviously, Hassan, you never saw an episode of CROSSFIRE, or any other similar debate show. What's wrong with debating a movie? (I may not have done it very tactfully when I called the movie "sh!t" and "crap," but that was a knee-jerk reaction on my part.)

        Ele made the choice of starting his own thread to voice his opinion on the movie. So that means I have to refrain from responding and echoing my POV just because I did it once before? I get one say and then have to move on? Whatever....

        It's no secret I'm very vocal on films / issues I like and dislike. I'd hope people on this board would have the same passion, and would even like to stand up and challenge some of the things I've said, either about BATMAN BEGINS, or anything else I pontificate on.

        But to basically ask me to zip and let it go? I think of these boards like television: if you don't like what you're watching (reading)....change the channel (skip my posts).

        -M

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        • #5
          Re: Elephant's Batman Begins review...spoiler free, I think

          Dammit, MacG! Why are you so dogmatic and righteous? Why can't you just live and let live? Why does every thread have to be the MacG show?
          Twitter: @WriterLe

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Elephant's Batman Begins review...spoiler free, I think

            First, I like to apologize to ELe for getting off topic.

            But to basically ask me to zip and let it go? I think of these boards like television: if you don't like what you're watching (reading)....change the channel (skip my posts).
            MacG, your reply shows the level of your maturity and thanks for the tip, done.
            Faster would be better! ~ Capt. Malcolm Reynolds

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Elephant's Batman Begins review...spoiler free, I think

              Um...so, yeah. I really liked the movie.

              I'd just also like to add that I'm giving mad respect to Warner Bros. for allowing Nolan to do what he did. It's a hell of a gamble from a studio. This film is so dark and dangerous, it's hard to imagine a studio having the balls to allow it to be made.

              Ele...

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Elephant's Batman Begins review...spoiler free, I think

                Originally posted by elephant1978
                Um...so, yeah. I really liked the movie.

                I'd just also like to add that I'm giving mad respect to Warner Bros. for allowing Nolan to do what he did. It's a hell of a gamble from a studio. This film is so dark and dangerous, it's hard to imagine a studio having the balls to allow it to be made.

                Ele...
                I entirely agree. It's so wonderful to see a studio deciding not to screw up a good thing...
                I'm just really saddened that the reputation of the past few has so influenced the acceptance of this one. Many people I've talked to think it's a PREQUEL and intended to tie into the previous movies .

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Elephant's Batman Begins review...spoiler free, I think

                  Originally posted by elephant1978
                  Um...so, yeah. I really liked the movie.

                  I'd just also like to add that I'm giving mad respect to Warner Bros. for allowing Nolan to do what he did. It's a hell of a gamble from a studio. This film is so dark and dangerous, it's hard to imagine a studio having the balls to allow it to be made.

                  Ele...
                  Sorry your thread was hijacked for a couple posts there, Ele.... I forgot that sarcasm still doesn't come across well in written form, which is what my first response was supposed to be: sarcastic.

                  Glad you liked the film. 99.9% of America seems to....

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Elephant's Batman Begins review...spoiler free, I think

                    I thought it was a great Bruce Wayne movie.

                    Easily the best rendering of Bruce Wayne's story on film.

                    As a Batman film, is was deeply flawed and poorly executed.

                    Nolan is a terrible action director which is why this is the first Batman movie where the non-Batman sequences were more interesting and exciting than the actual Batman sequences.

                    **POSSIBLE SPOILERS ALERT**

                    Some problems with the story:

                    1) Batman refuses to kill a man after his training. So he kills many of his fellow League of Shadow members, the man he thought was his master and burns the place down, almost certainly killing the one man he refused to kill in the first place.

                    2) Batman is trained to use his intelligence and skills to deceive and evade through stealth. Everything Batman does draws attention to himself and he escapes through sheer luck and use of force to overcome that which he should be avoiding and evading.

                    3) Batman wants to save a childhood friend. That's cool. What's not cool is that he causes millions of dollars in damage doing it, not to mention seriously injuring, crippling and killing countless police officers and innocent civilians during his ill conceived and poorly handled car chase over roof tops and through Gotham's streets.

                    Batman's not a hero in this film, he's a terrorist inflicting wide spread damage and chaos wherever he goes. Whatever happened to the Batman who used his intelligence and agility to escape and evade? Any idiot can plow a tank through cars.

                    4) The film promises us big fight sequences with stunning physical stunts but every action and fight sequence has all the style and excitement of a Three's Company prat fall. Even the much anticipated show down between Bats and his old mentor is a plodding effort of lame choreography that is over in the blink of an eye.

                    5) The water evaporator. Don't even get me started on how absurd that is or how poorly integrated to the story it was.

                    I really wanted to love this movie. I really did.

                    It is a more mature and consistent with the comic books effort than the previous films but it was still not as good as it should have, or could have been.

                    Nolan is not an action director. His action sequences have always been the weakest part of his films, but at least in Memento and Insomnia there was intense dramatic context for those scenes that gave them the energy and intensity that his direction alone could not give. In Batman, his weakness as an action director is a serious detriment to the film.
                    Fortune favors the bold - Virgil

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                    • #11
                      Re: Elephant's Batman Begins review...spoiler free, I think

                      Interesting points, Deus. Bruce is more compelling than Batman. But then, it is an origins story and is about Bruce's path to get to becoming Batman, so it's understandable. The movie explores the psychology of how a man becomes a superhero. It will be interesting to see how Nolan balances Bruce vs. Batman in the sequel (which is a given).

                      But I agree with you that the action sequences were muddy. Definitely the weak point of the direction.

                      I agree with Ele that the use of fear as a theme was brilliant. Everything tied together, even the blue flower. I LOVED when Crane saw Batman as a demon.

                      And Caine and Freeman were amazing. Great casting. Great performances.
                      You're a mighty master of minutia. Your enemies fear you.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Elephant's Batman Begins review...spoiler free, I think

                        I didn't see it yet. And, ele, I think it's perfectly fine for you to post your own review thread. Don't let anyone dissuade you.

                        P.S. Seen any dinos lately?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Elephant's Batman Begins review...spoiler free, I think

                          Originally posted by anomalies
                          I didn't see it yet. And, ele, I think it's perfectly fine for you to post your own review thread. Don't let anyone dissuade you.
                          Anomalies, you should start a seperate Batman thread about how you haven't seen the movie yet. Because nobody would be surprised you would do something like that.
                          Twitter: @WriterLe

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Elephant's Batman Begins review...spoiler free, I think

                            Originally posted by The White Album
                            Anomalies, you should start a seperate Batman thread about how you haven't seen the movie yet. Because nobody would be surprised you would do something like that.
                            White Album on ignore!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Elephant's Batman Begins review...spoiler free, I think

                              Originally posted by Deus Ex Machine
                              1) Batman refuses to kill a man after his training. So he kills many of his fellow League of Shadow members, the man he thought was his master and burns the place down, almost certainly killing the one man he refused to kill in the first place.
                              You can't expect Batman to save the lives of all the people trying to murder him... if they had all done the right thing and focused on escaping right away rather than trying to kill Batman, they probably would have all been safe and sound.

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