Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Batman Begins

Well it's birthday week again, so screw it. Let's finish the Batman movies!

The first of The Dark Knight trilogy, how is it after 10 long years? It's a great start, it builds the world it wants, executes an origin story on a more realistic setting, and kickstarted the most acclaimed Batman movies ever made. Do I need to spout off the plot? Well just so I can talk more, absolutely. Bruce Wayne has been missing for several years, training with a mysterious organization known as the League of Shadows, and returns to Gotham City to fight crime and reclaim his city. But the League has a few tricks up it's sleeve, including the first live action potrayal of The Scarecrow, easily one of my top 5 Batman villains played brilliantly by Cillian Murphy who has a helping hand in the destruction of Gotham. I won't give much else away, but believe me when I say it's a great movie. Now onto the cast! Christian Bale on first viewing for me, was nothing special. But as I grew older, and started appreciating the story and the characters more, he does a fine job. As Bruce Wayne, he is cool and unassuming and as the Dark Knight, he is a force to be reckoned with. Supporting cast ranges from perfection to what the flying hell were they thinking. Michael Caine as Alfred? Fan-flipping-tastic! Very difficult to replace Michael Gough, but he puts his all into it. Gary Oldman as Jim Gordon is terrific, well that's pretty much Gary Oldman in general. Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox? A more unknown character, hell Morgan was an avid reader of the Batman comics and didn't know who he was, but still very likable and entertaining. It's God for crying out loud, how can you say bad things about him? Alright, Liam Neeson as Ra's Al Ghul.....he's not terrible, but didn't really feel like Ra's. Plus I hate how they pronounced his name, I know that's nitpicking but it seriously gets irritating after awhile. He plays the part well but it just felt off, character wise not performance wise. Katie Holmes as Rachael Dawes. Good God, she is bad in this. I'm not bashing on Katie Holmes but she sucks in this. Her character is just so boring! There's no development, no depth, she just acts kinda bitchy and there you go, there's her character! Might as well wrap up the rest of the negatives while I'm at it. The fight scenes are horrendous, they are so closely shot, so fast with motion, it is almost fundamentally impossible to tell what is happening. And that's kind of an important part of a superhero movie, where you know...people fight crime! I don't know what they were thinking but at least they learned. Also, criminal underuse of Scarecrow, Christopher Nolan is a cerebral filmmaker so I expected Scarecrow to be a terrifying force, front and center of the whole film, main villain being awesome. But nope. Cillian Murphy gets to be Scarecrow for maybe five minutes, and he is great! He is awesome! I fully believe this is a guy who experiments on people with fear toxin! Spot on acting sir! And that's about it really. Good stuff as is follows, great story, great retelling of an origin story, good acting, a memorable script, decent effects, using Chicago as a backdrop for Gotham which I am totally cool with even though it's quite obvious Gotham is a gothic caricature of New York City, and for the first installment of a trilogy it does it's job well. Also, side note the reason I fraking LOVE Batman movies is because somehow, I don't know how, the movies keep getting better as time goes on. But not....film wise, kinda. I'll try to explain. You see when you delve into this mythos, these stories, these characters, you notice little details. Call them easter eggs, call them references, whatever but once you know something you can connect it to something else, especially in comic book media. It's like, every adaptation, every retelling, every version of this story compliments everything so much. People hated that Jim Gordon drives the Batmobile in this movie, but recently Jim Gordon actually becomes the Batman in the comics! The whole scheme of destroying Gotham is strikingly, even suspiciously too similar to Arkham Knight with Scarecrow and his plans. It's that sort of references that always make it well worth my time to revisit and watch not just these movies, but all things Batman. I live it, I breathe it.....because I'm Batman!!!

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