Thursday, June 16, 2005
Batman Begins

How do I love Batman Begins... let me count the ways...
Yes, it's safe to say I loved the movie a whole lot. I mean, look at that sexy logo right there! A vast improvement over the old one, wouldn't you say? Now don't get me wrong, I loved the cheesy old 60's tv show with Adam West, but if anyone is actually familiar with the comic book you will know that the character is actually meant to be a much darker hero who has many a demon haunting him and driving him to do the things he does. Part of the appeal for many people is the fact that he is indeed only a man, a mere mortal with toys, gizmos and fine training in martial arts. Unlike Superman and Spider-Man, he has no super powers.

My friends and I, (aka: The Geek Squad, or Geek Brigade) had been waiting in great anticipation for this film, with one friend in particular being a die-hard Batman fan. He knows his stuff and is one of those fans who is nitpicky about details and how true a movie is to the original medium.... the comic book. The sting of disappointment was still fresh after the big let down of the recent Star Wars movie. We were worried about getting our hopes that high again only to walk out of the theatre disappointed. And we knew we would be critical as we are all comic book readers.

It's rare that I actually bother to watch a film on a screen that's "5 houses high" but I must say the Imax experience was a golden way to see this fantastic film. The visual effects and cinematography were just that much more stunning on the giant screen as was the wall of sound effects from the dozen speakers all around. Well worth the hour+ we had to stand around in line to ensure we got the very back seats so we wouldn't be craning our necks.

Christian Bale impressed me, though I have to say I had no real expectations for him. He has an incredibly well sculpted body (a-prow!!) which certainly went a long way to sell me on the idea of him as Batman, but his mouth/chin looked funny in the mask. I'm supposing it had something to do with the mask more than his face (coz he's a handsome devil) but I didn't like the way it made his face look a little round. Ya can't go and give the Dark Knight a baby face like that! The overall costume was a great improvement over the last ones (this one didn't have nipples, thank god) and had much more movement and flexibility, something the last ones woefully lacked which took away from the believability.

The supporting cast was rich with stars; Liam Neeson, Gary Oldman, Rutger Hauer, Tom Wilkinson, Michael Caine, Cillian Murphy (you'll remember this actor from the spooky zombie flick, 28 Days Later), Morgan Freeman, and Katie Holmes. *sigh* Katie Holmes.....what can I say? I wanted to like her, I really did. I figured I had better just get used to seeing her face because now that she is one-half of the duo now known as TomKat, I'm going to be seeing a lot of her. But ya know what? I just didn't think she was at her acting best in this film. Look, here's Katie looking pensive. I think. And here's Katie looking like a tough district attorney (what her character is in this film). But for her very best acting in the movie just go here. Nuff said. Too bad, coz I really liked her in Pieces of April.

Michael Caine did very well as the butler and the character was given the usual clever and humorous lines, which he delivered very well and got the desired chuckles. Morgan Freeman played the same character he does in practically every film, but as usual he pulls it off because it's such a likeable character. Gary Oldman played the commissioner perfectly though he has now destroyed any notions I once had that he was sexy coz he looks... well.. not sexy in this film. Liam Neeson plays the teacher very well in this film, though he just finished playing such a teacher in the last few Star Wars movies, so how much of a reach was it really? Ya swing a sword, ya swing a light sabre...

I did like the villain in the film, known as Scarecrow. This bad guy was DAMN scary looking and used a hallucinogen as a weapon! He'd blow powder in people's faces and they see all kinds of scary shit! And of course it's filmed from the perspective of the person seeing these hallucinations so you get to see some pretty trippy nightmares. It was worth it just for those scenes.

Anyway, that's enough of my gushing over this film. When my friends and I left the theatre last night we were on cloud nine and talking about it at a million miles per hour we were so excited. And we asked ourselves... now why couldn't we have had this content feeling when we left the theatre after Star Wars last month? Too bad. But at least this one didn't let us down. I loved it, and I will probably go see it again.

Next up for the Geek Squad: Fantastic Four. (check out the trailers here)