Thursday, June 16, 2005
Films Recently Watched:
Batman Begins (2005) dir. by Christopher Nolan
First, let me begin by saying that I went into this movie knowing nothing about it beyond what was shown in the trailers that I’d seen (including the trailer that showed immediately before the film began – Way to go, Applewood 8!). Further, I know nothing about the Batman mythology beyond what is obvious from the three or four previous Batman Films beginning with Tim Burton’s 1989 film. Having said that, I believe that anybody can go to and appreciate this film. I sure did!
The aptly named, Batman Begins, explains the origin of the character of Batman. Through a series of flashbacks, we learn of events which occur during Bruce Wayne’s formidable years that explain how and why he acquires the tools, abilities and motivation to become the crime-fighter, Batman.
Now, I love the 1989 film, Batman. Michael Keaton was definitely an -- odd choice for the Bruce Wayne/Batman character, but it worked for me. Val Kilmer and George Clooney in the later Schumacher Batman films also seemed a bit off-key as the caped-crusader. Christian Bale, however, is perfect as both the millionaire playboy, Bruce Wayne and the winged avenger, Batman.
Katie Holmes also delivers an excellent performance here the only potential love interest to Bale. She also manages an important political plotline. As assistant District Attorney representing Gotham, Rachel Dawes(on's Creek - coincidence?) is on her own crusade to protect Gotham and its inhabitants.
Among the supporting cast, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman are convincing in their roles as Alfred, Bruce Wayne’s caretaker and Lucius Fox, Wayne Industry’s techno-gadget creater and inventor, respectively. These are the only two guys who know how Bruce Wayne spends his nights. They also supply much of the occasional humor to the film.
Christopher Nolan (Memento, Insomnia) directs the picture. In the hands of another director, this film could have easily gone wrong (i.e. Batman & Robin). But Nolan remembers that Batman is somewhat unique as a superhero in that he possesses no superpowers. This is a point hammered home by Nolan. This is as real and gritty as superhero movies get. He shows several times that Batman gets hurt and, in doing so, tells a compelling story of beginnings and beliefs.
I believe that Tim Burton’s 1989 film, Batman will always hold a special place as my “favorite” Batman film, but I can absolutely say that Batman Begins is the better film. It’s story, construction, and execution are superior, the performances are more believable.
Believe it or not, besides watching a bunch of movies, I have managed to do a few other things since I last posted. I can't remember what they all were, but that's only because one of them was turning thirty-one. Besides that, we went to the Indianapolis Zoo on Memorial Day (Monday) with my Mom & Dad, Christy had a Pampered Chef party, and we've been spending some time outdoors when it has been nice - grilling out, working in the yard, we even planted a tomato plant and a zucchini plant that seem to be growing and doing quite nicely! Hannah's getting pretty good on her tricycle. I have some pictures, but I'm having trouble getting them off the camera onto the computer. Oh, and we also went to the Zoo!
Other Films Recently Watched:
THX 1138 (1971) dir. by George Lucas
A Shot in the Dark (1964) dir. by Blake Edwards
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005) dir. by George Lucas
This was my second theatrical viewing - this time, with Christy. I was better able to see the film this time as I was able to sit further back in the theater.
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004) dir. by Brad Silberling
Hero (2002) dir. by Yimou Zhang
The Aviator (2004) dir. by Martin Scorsese
Christy and I watched this one together. It is a biopic of Howard Hughes. She was interested in the portrayal of Hughes' Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I was interested to learn of Hughes' film-making days in Hollywood; so I also watched...
The Outlaw (1943) dir. by Howard Hughes
After watching The Aviator, I was expecting to be wowed by Jane Russell's "mammaries" in this film, but was quite disappointed. I'm in the camp that would have to believe that the 1943 version of the MPAA was more disturbed by the films implications than any skin that was actually shown, or perhaps they were disturbed with Hughes, himself. Regardless, a pretty run-of-the-mill western, as far as I'm concerned.
Metropolis (1927) dir. by Fritz Lang
An amazing work of science-fiction for 1927.
The Motorcycle Diaries (2004) dir. by Walter Salles
Apocalypse Now (1979) dir. by Francis Ford Coppola
Collateral (2004) dir. by Michael Mann
Not usually into Jamie Foxx films, but he really stands out in this one. And, no, I haven't seen Ray yet. Some of the best cinematography of Los Angeles I've ever seen.
Did I mention we went to the Zoo?