Hey folks, Harry here... I see this tomorrow night... Moriarty has already seen it, but I believe his computer is being sacrificed to the pixel gods upon the pixel pyre. Mori hates his computer, they often times end up wrestling naked in front of his fireplace like Oliver Reed... and thus he loses pieces he's written for you to the great abyss. You'll find more folks losing their minds for this baby below... Enjoy...
I just went to an IMAX screening of Batman Begins and… frickin’ wow.
Wowy wow wow.
This film easily trumps any live-action incarnation we’ve scene of the Dark Knight before, borrowing heavily from both the comics and the Dini and Co. animated series. This is a hard, fast, driving, heartfelt epic that draws you into the character of Bruce Wayne and makes you damn well care. Batman doesn’t play second-fiddle to the villains here like in the other films. It’s his movie and that’s the way it should be.
Much has been said of the film’s “reality” quotient, and I’m here to say it works. Nolan talks about how Batman’s strong because he does push-ups, he gets around because of his gadgets, and by introducing each of them with a plausible explanation, we forget to quibble and go along with it. The technology may be fantastic, but it’s believable. And, unlike the “reality” of something like Daredevil, Nolan doesn’t forget his ideals halfway though and start having Batman wire-jump thirty feet into the air.
The acting all around is top notch. Everyone in the film is quality and they really pull through in their respective roles. Personally, I love Cillian Murphy’s Scarecrow. He adds the slightest extra cadence to each syllable, turning the dialogue into something more than was written. As for the man himself, Christian Bale is far and away the best Batman ever. I was never conscious of watching a movie star take on Batman the way it was with the other films. You watch Bruce Wayne grow and transform and become Batman, and nothing gets between that.
I really don’t want to spoil the best bits, just because you need to see them for yourself. But know that the film works, and on many levels. Three quick highlights: 1) Batman moves in flashes, just the way he should. He takes out one guy and disappears into shadows, leaving the others to collectively shit their pants. It is THAT cool. 2) The fear gas is very well done. You see the effects from multiple perspectives throughout, and none is better than when a certain someone sees the Batman while under the influence. 3) The hints at the end of what’s to come. SO good.
I’ve been following the buzz poo-pooing that’s been going on down in TalkBack, where a few folks have read a draft of the script and have been doing their best to sandbag expectations.
PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE HATERS BEHIND THE CURTAIN!!
There are one-liners, yes, and just about all of them work fine because the words from the script are acted out and made plausible. A few aren’t as strong, but they’re not of the cringe-worthy variety.
The suit works. It’s practical. It’s plausible. It’s the most “real” Batman we’re going to get. It’s not Sandy Collara’s Dead End (and I say thank God for that). There are a few moments when the mask doesn’t sit just right, but those are ridiculously insignificant nitpicks when the rest of the film works as well as it does.
I’ve got three other nitpicks that really aren’t even problems: 1) Editing. Early in the film, during some of the flashback and training sequences, the editing of certain scenes feels a little clipped and truncated. My friend put it right saying it felt like you were watching an extended trailer for the scene as opposed to the scene itself. It works though—don’t get me wrong—as these scenes really propel the narrative forward. 2) Action scenes. Most of these scenes stay pretty close and tight, in medium shots instead of wides, rendering some of the action a giant blur (granted, the IMAX didn’t help that any). There were a few times I was wishing to see things pulled back and revealed a bit more. Again, it still works. 3) Score. It’s downright brilliant in parts. Only problem I had is there’s no instantly-recognizalbe, hummable main theme. Kinda the way it is with Spider-Man.
You might think this is all hyperbole, but the movie is THAT good. I left the theater buzzing in a way I haven’t in a long time. I mean, Episode III was phenomenal, but leaving that was leaving satisfied in a different way. It was the end of something great and grand. It was completion. Batman Begins is the start of something new, and every step taken has been the right one. I absolutely cannot wait to see what they do next.
Hot damn if this isn’t the best summer we’ve had in a long, long time.
here's babyshoes with his brief reaction...
i just was one of the lucky few who attended wizard world philly and got to see a screening of batman begins. while i'm not going to give a full review with major details, i can say that the movie ABSOLUTELY BLEW ME AND MY TWO FRIENDS AWAY!!! personally, i can say it is the best comic book adaptation to date. there were some minor flaws like the car chase scenes, which were a tad unrealistic compared to the rest of the movie, and when the name of the "secret weapon" is used by the bad guy is said, there is a little cringefactor and some believability issues. But...overall, i was totally not expecting the movie to be this damn good. the villians are well-acted and not over-used and abused and batman is just downright scary and creepy in some scenes, the way he ought to be (emphasis on the scary). dc has really hit on something big here and i can't wait to see it again on the 15th!