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December 6, 2010

Batman Begins [Blu-ray]

Batman Begins [Blu-ray]

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  • Batman Begins explores the origins of the Batman legend and the Dark Knight’s emergence as a force for good in Gotham. In the wake of his parents’ murder, disillusioned industrial heir Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) travels the world seeking the means to fight injustice and turn fear against those who prey on the fearful. He returns to Gotham and unveils his alter-ego: Batman, a masked crusader who

Product Description

Batman Begins explores the origins of the Batman legend and the Dark Knight’s emergence as a force for good in Gotham. In the wake of his parents’ murder, disillusioned industrial heir Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) travels the world seeking the means to fight injustice and turn fear against those who prey on the fearful. He returns to Gotham and unveils his alter-ego: Batman, a masked crusader who uses his strength, intellect and an array of high tech deceptions to fight the sinister forces that threaten the city.

Batman Begins discards the previous four films in the series and recasts the Caped Crusader as a fearsome avenging angel. That’s good news, because the series, which had gotten off to a rousing start under Tim Burton, had gradually dissolved into self-parody by 1997’s Batman & Robin. As the title implies, Batman Begins tells the story anew, when Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) flees Western civilization following the murder of his parents. He is taken in by a mysterious instructor named Ducard (Liam Neeson in another mentor role) and urged to become a ninja in the League of Shadows, but he instead returns to his native Gotham City resolved to end the mob rule that is strangling it. But are there forces even more sinister at hand?

Co-written by the team of David S. Goyer (a veteran comic book writer) and director Christopher Nolan (Memento), Batman Begins is a welcome return to the grim and gritty version of the Dark Knight, owing a great debt to the graphic novels that preceded it. It doesn’t have the razzle dazzle, or the mass appeal, of Spider-Man 2 (though the Batmobile is cool), and retelling the origin means it starts slowly, like most “first” superhero movies. But it’s certainly the best Bat-film since Burton’s original, and one of the best superhero movies of its time. Bale cuts a good figure as Batman, intense and dangerous but with some of the lightheartedness Michael Keaton brought to the character. Michael Caine provides much of the film’s humor as the family butler, Alfred, and as the love interest, Katie Holmes (Dawson’s Creek) is surprisingly believable in her first adult role. Also featuring Gary Oldman as the young police officer Jim Gordon, Morgan Freeman as a Q-like gadgets expert, and Cillian Murphy as the vile Jonathan Crane. –David Horiuchi

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All Reviews

Batman flies high in excellent BEGINS “Since his first dramatic appearance in Detective Comics in 1939, Batman has grown to become a pop-culture icon. From movie serials in the 40’s, to a classic campy TV show in the 60’s, to a solid animated series in the 90’s, fans have thrilled to the super heroics of this unique character. However, as a film franchise, he has brought results that were somewhat less than impressive creatively. While the Tim Burton directed films, BATMAN and BATMAN RETURNS were stylish and dark, they also suffered from plot holes you could drive a Batmobile through. Then Joel Schumacher introduced a Day-Glo sensibility to the Dark Knight in BATMAN FOREVER, before drowning the character in ludicrous costumes (a Bat suit with nipples???), pun-filled foes, and whiney sidekicks in the lousy BATMAN & ROBIN. By then, Batman as cinematic property had become a laughingstock. Fortunately, indie film director Christopher Nolan reinvigorates the franchise in glorious form in BATMAN BEGINS, a reboot of the Batman legend that, for the first time, puts the focus squarely on our hero and not on the over-the-top villains of past films. Nolan also bases the film in a strong semblance of reality that allows the audience to not only accept the possibility of the winged vigilante, but embrace it as well.
Most fans already know the story of how wealthy Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) loses his parents when they are slain during an attempted robbery, but the movie also tells how he chose the bat as his symbol, as well as the steps needed to become the avenger of the night that he turns into. Disillusioned and frustrated by Gotham City’s corrupt judicial system, the young Wayne goes abroad to study the criminal mind. Later, while locked in an Asian prison, Wayne is recruited by the enigmatic Ducard (Liam Neeson), who offers him a path in which to focus his anger and hone his skills. Wayne eventually joins his new mentor as a recruit in the mysterious League of Shadows, headed by the sinister Ra’s Al Ghul (Ken Wantanabe). Eventually, Wayne realizes that he cannot follow the League’s extreme methods of dispensing justice and returns to Gotham to forge his own way. It soon turns out that Wayne’s return is just in time as Gotham falls prey to a fear epidemic engineered by the twisted Dr. Jonathan Crane AKA “the Scarecrow” (Cillian Murphy) and a familiar figure from Wayne’s past.

From the top on down, this film is blessed with a solid cast that adds wonderfully to Nolan’s vision. As the title hero, Christian Bale blows all other Batman portrayers out of the water with his intense and scary take of the role. This is a Batman that you not only fear, but can relate to as well. In fact, he turns in the definitive performance. Michael Caine adds warmth and humor as Wayne’s trusty butler, Alfred. Liam Neeson does a great variation of his usual mentor roles as Ducard, a man with his own surprising secret. As an assistant DA and Wayne’s childhood friend, Katie Holmes does a nice job with what is basically a thankless role. Cillian Murphy makes for a perfectly creepy Scarecrow, while Morgan Freeman is solid as usual as the man who provides Batman’s wondrous car and gadgets. Gary Oldman is wonderfully cast against type as Jim Gordon, one of Gotham’s few honest cops. The scene in which he drives the tank-like Batmobile is a sheer delight.

The screenplay by Nolan and David Goyer (who wrote the BLADE films) is awash with characterization and motivation…something that you don’t see in many comic book films as a rule. In fact, you get so engrossed by the proceedings that you almost forget that you are watching a “superhero” film in the first place. The special effects are used to enhance the story and not overpower it, while the set design pictures a Gotham that is a unique cross of Chicago, New York and Hong Kong. If there is a flaw, it lies in some of the fight sequences. Done in close-ups and quick cuts, they can get frustrating for those who want to see more of Batman’s fighting style. However, this is very minor since the story never ceases to grasp your attention.

In the end, Nolan and his superb cast and crew succeed in achieving what was once thought impossible: the resurrection of a film franchise that, if not dead, was at least on life support. As a result, Batman is once again flying high and BATMAN BEGINS is a film that I wholeheartedly recommend.

Batman is back! **Updated review to BluRay edition** “After years of not having a Batman film and mostly due to the franchise hitting bottom thanks to Joel Schumacher’s disastrous “Batman forever” and “Batman and Robin”, Christopher Nolan present us his version of the character with an impressive all star cast anda story brilliantly written by David S. Goyer.
The film

There were high expectations for this film before its release as if would it be as good as Burton’s films, the truth is, there are no points to compare, Nolan and Burton visions are quite different from each other, but both respect the origins and essence of who the character is.

Goyer took some liberties in the storytelling that could be considered as unforgivable by many fans (Bruce’s parents are originally killed after seeing “Mark of Zorro” at the movie theater, a fact that marks Bruce’s mind with the idea of a masked vigilante) but also hints at stuff that the previous versions let pass unnoticed, the main focus of this film are the origins of Batman and his training to become what he ultimately is. Even though the detective part of Bruce’s training is not even mentioned, the twist in which Ra’s Al Ghul (Liam Neeson) is the one who trained him in the ninja arts and theatricality just makes their conflict more delightful and interesting. Cameos and appearances of characters from the comic book are also well used, justified and important to the story (Carmine Falcone and killer Zsaz)

The story uses the two villains exactly as they would act in the comic book, Ra’s Al Ghul with his constant desire to set thing right his way and Jonathan Crane (Cillian Murphy) working and experimenting with the thing he enjoys the most: fear. Even though the Scarecrow is totally the opposite of the comic book (in the comic Jonathan Crane is an old and ugly doctor who was fired from Gotham University for experimenting on the students with his gas of fear), the character presented keeps the essence and motives that the original character has, unlike the Riddler, Mr Freeze, Two Face or Poison Ivy in Schumacher’s awful versions.

A new Gotham city is presented, much more like a NY city style, a new Batmobile (not as fancy as the previous ones but quite impressive) and a whole set of characters we expect to see in future releases, James Gordon (Gary Oldman who amazingly looks exactly as Jim in the comic), Alfred Pennyworth (Michael Caine), Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman), Jonathan Crane, Carmine Falcone and Ra’s Al Ghul.

Masterfully executed by the whole cast and brilliantly directed by Nolan, there are many of us looking forward for a sequel to this film.

The extras

Disc one contains Mtv’s “Tankman Begins”, a spoof we could have lived without but without any doubt a collector’s piece for all Mtv fans.

Disc two contains a set of documentaries related to all aspects of production and shooting of the film, from the early beginnings in Nolan’s washing room until the shooting of some of the most difficult sequences of the film. The disc 2 is organized in a comic book-like format which makes it a little difficult to follow as many things are like hidden, but if you go until the end of the short and pointless story, you will find a list with all documentaries available. One of the documentaries called “Genesis of the bat” presents comic book artist related to Batman talking about the character and film, from Dennis O’Neil to Jim Lee. I am sure this will be a piece fans of the comic book will enjoy. All extras are worthy of watching and I strongly recommend the 2 disc set, it is a 5 o 6 dollar difference that will compensate with all the facts and items found in the bonus materials.

***BluRay review***

I had already written a review for this film when the two-disc special edition was released on DVD, so I will not get into any details about how great the movie is.

The treatment they gave to this release is incredible, image looks great and colors are stunning, the high definition definitely makes a difference and ‘Batman Begins’ looks better than ever (simply check out the ice sequence between Bruce and Ducard)

I have seen threads with questions as to what exactly does the limited edition set contains versus the regular single disc, so here are what I think are the most important ones:

The Disc

The disc included here is the same disc they released separately:
* All the extras from the 2-disc DVD are included, the documentaries and the awful ‘Tankman Begins’
* The prologue to ‘The Dark Knight’ in high definition (are we in for a treat when released on Bluray!) This is basically the bank robbery scene that opens the sequel.

The Extras

The USB with 18 the stills from ‘The Dark Knight’ included in the DVD version of the gift set IS NOT INCLUDED in the Bluray gift set; don’t know what the reason is but it would have made sense to include it in both versions.

The postcards included are selections from the art created to promote ‘Batman Begins’, in my opinion some of the images look simple and overall they are not that great.

The two comic books included are a joke! One is a comic book adaptation of the same 6 minutes prologue included in this edition (the bank robbery), the other one is the script with pictures of the same 6 minute prologue! I am a collector and big fan of Batman and even I find this ridiculous and overpriced.

The $7.50 coupon to see ‘The Dark Knight’ in theaters.

Bottom-line, I would give 3 stars to the BluRay release, not to the movie itself (which is great and looks superb in HD) but to the release. I am having buyer’s remorse, don’t be fooled by what the product description says, it may sound interesting but had I known the extras would be as they are, I would have gone for the cheaper single disc edition.

Flesh and Machinery “Christopher Nolan and his co-screenwriter, David Goyer have chosen to postpone the crossover of Bruce Wayne (a soulful Christian Bale) into Batman until half way through the new “Batman Begins.”

And this is a crucial and important step that Nolan puts off until Bruce walks the earth in search of his own personal nirvana… in a sort of Christ-like journey to understand himself and his place in the world after his parents are brutally murdered. It is also from this quest that he acquires the knowledge and skills necessary for him to become a warrior, ready and able to combat the ills and rid his town Gotham of all evil-doers.
Nolan’s “Batman Begins” is a more macho, masculine film than were the previous movies, which is not to take anything away from Tim Burton’s elegiac, gothic and visionary takes on this story. But Burton’s world is/was/ and will always be the world of the dreamer: his Batman is more sinned against than sinning. His Batman needs love and understanding while Nolan’s wants and needs justice and revenge more than anything else: even the sultry Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes proves to be of little interest to Batman save a chaste kiss at the end of the movie. It’s interesting to note that in the previous Batman films we had big beautiful bombshells like Kim Bassinger and Nicole Kidman as the so-called love interests while here, in Nolan’s vision we have a more scrubbed clean, working class (Rachel is an assistant D.A.) heroine: a woman who is as interested in righting wrongs as is Batman and not merely someone meant as an adornment to the suave debonair Batman of Val Kilmer, George Clooney or Michael Keaton. It’s an important and telling shift from woman as a plush toy to one who is, not only beautiful but also smart and dedicated to a cause other than self-promotion and self-satisfaction.
Christian Bale’s Batman is real..i.e. a genuine, fleshed-out, beautifully written movie character: he is conflicted, he makes mistakes, he trusts the wrong people at times and he pays for his mistakes. It is a remarkable casting coup to have Bale in this role particularly since of late he has been playing a spate of radicals…i.e. in “The Machinist,” in which he transforms himself into a skeleton…literally. As Bruce Wayne/Batman, Bale dons the mask, assumes the persona, not out of a lust for power but out of a fervent belief that good will always triumph over evil: several times in this film he is brought to task for his trust in the basic goodness of people and one of his mentors ( Liam Neeson as Ducard) even goes so far as to ridicule Bruce as sentimental and weak for it. Though Ducard is his mentor and sensei, this relationship proves to be fraught with ambiguity as the movie progresses to the climax.
What is a Batman film without its villains? But this film is devoid of the cartoon craziness of the Riddler or the Joker. Here we have Cillian Murphy (so good in “28 Days Later”) as a scary-as-hell The Scarecrow, alias psychiatrist Dr. Jonathan Crane, who spews his psychedelic paranoia and psychosis on an unsuspecting Gotham. His “stuff” is more thrilling and frightening than anything that the aforementioned villains could ever muster.
“Batman Begins” is not only a physically gorgeous film, it is also an emotionally and ideologically complicated one. It wears its heart on its sleeve, yes…but it also has the brains and a profoundly strong back and pumped up physicality to back it up.

The movie Bat-fans have been waiting for “I became a fan of the Dark Knight following Frank Miller’s genius “The Dark Knight Returns” in the mid-80s. I loved the reinvention of the character, making him darker, brooding, and bordering on psychotic. It was this reinvention that most likely allowed the making of the original Batman movie, as well as its 3 successors. However, I found myself dissecting each of those movies as I exited the theater, feeling dissatisfied with each.
After four previous attempts, two of them bordering on catastrophic, Hollywood has finally gotten it right. This is not your big brother’s Batman.

Director Christopher Nolan has stripped away all the flash from the previous two movies, making Gotham City appear to be more like an enormous amusement park, and made it the gritty, murky urban sprawl that Batman fans have come to embrace as the home of Bruce Wayne. We also get much more of a feel as to why Wayne is so tortured and driven to do what he does for the city. The character of Bruce Wayne is the focus of this movie, whereas the villains have been the focus of the previous movies. We learn why Wayne is so tortured, and how deep his psyche is scarred. Story holes are plugged that were left gaping in previous efforts. In time, I believe that Christian Bale will replace Michael Keaton as the general consensus favorite in the role of the Guardian of Gotham, as he truly puts the Dark in Dark Knight.

Perhaps the best part of this edition of the Batman series is the long overdue establishment of the relationship between Batman and Jim Gordon, a police sergeant in this early stage of the legend. In previous movies, the character of Gordon was all but made irrelevant, and in some cases, a buffoon. Gordon is not only a tough cop, but is the only member of the police force that Batman will allow to get close to him. That element is presented flawlessly here.

The acting is better than your average comic book flick. Christian Bale captures perfectly the brood of Batman, as well as the careless, playboy persona of Bruce Wayne. Katie Holmes does a good job in shedding her “Dawson’s Creek” image, and handles the character of Rachael Dawes well. Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, and the rest of the support cast turn in worthy performances in their respective roles. The plot is thicker than previous efforts, and the villains’ role in said plot is far from insulting to the intelligence of even a casual Bat-fan.

While this movie has plenty of bangs for the buck, it does not feel like a gratuitous effort. Each special effect has a meaning, and if this movie’s intent was to wipe the slate clean, and offer an apology for the previous four Batman movies, then mission accomplished. This is a comic book movie that does not present itself as a comic book movie. Each character and story element is believable, and I sincerely hope that the key elements from this project will be back for a sequel in a few years. If you’re a fan of the comic, you will thoroughly enjoy this effort. If you aren’t a fan of the comic, you just might be after viewing Batman Begins.

Easily, without a doubt, THE best Batman Movie ever “When i first heard they were making a new Batman movie, i thought, it won’t be better than the old ones. That was before i went and watched the old ones again, as I hadn’t seen them in years. The first one in 89 was good, but after that, they all completely blowed. I mean, they just sucked. The acting was horrible, it was so stupid, it seemed like a comedy.
Then I saw the trailer for Batman Begins, and it was amazing. I have seen the movie 3 times so far, not to mention once in IMAX, and am going to see it again. It was just awesome. At first, i didn’t like the different look of batman or the batmobile, but you grow to like it, and now i absolutely love it. The acting was great, and Liam Neeson was a great actor for Ra’s. I liked the new,tougher, almost criminal, Bale as Batman. He was a great actor as well.

As the other review mentioned, the music for a movie can destroy it, or make it incredible. The old batman movies had freakin circus music and Prince, what the heck. Hans Zimmer is amazing with this movie. Already creating incredible soundtracks for Gladiator and King Arthur, for example, he was perfect for Batman. The music makes the exciting action scenes 20 times better. I honestly got chills when i watched this movie, it was so good. For example, the final scene of the train, the music made the scene so much more action packed. And the “scary” parts, or more disturbing parts with the toxin being inhaled by batman and other people, made THOSE scenes perfect as well.

The new batmobile is simply amazing. When i first saw it, before i saw the movie, i was like “o no, not a dang tank!” But i later loved it, more than the old crappy ones with the flimsy “wings” on it. It is just more tough and has better gadgets, like the spike strips, or more spike balls, for that matter.

Batman’s outfit is much better in these movies. It doesn’t look like crappy rubber or stuff like that, cuz its not. And the guy who said earlier that he can barely move his head, well, he moves it plenty. Compared to the old movies, he looks like he isn’t even wearing the cowl. In the old ones, there wasn’t any head movement at all, he had to move his whole body. Then there is his cape. This is the best cape ever made. Batman doesn’t have to hold sticks out to make it look like his cape is up. He can actually glide on it. Its just so much better.

Anyways, that finishes my review. This movie was the best movie i’ve seen in a long time. It makes me happy to know that it wasn’t really associated with the old ones, and it isn’t part of that franchise. I wouldn’t want to be known for those pitiful attempts. I can’t wait till the deluxe edition comes out. I also can’t wait till the next movie comes out, with the Joker and all.

Knight of Justice, Night of Fear, Return of the Legend! “Not as Cartoonish as past batman movies, void of any influence from the old TV Series starring Adam West, What started out as a comic book character so long ago…has returned with a true essence of what Batman, and Bruce Wayne, are really all about.
HARDWARE AND BACKDROP: The gadgets and hi-tech toys in this movie make us think that things have changed…but really they haven’t. In the old series, the Batmobile looked futuristic, and given the modern day presence the movie is in, The costume, hardware, and Batmobile are all not of some bizarre future, but of advanced science. Gotham is more than ever before brought to life on the big screen. Instead of a few dark alleys, we are introduced to the actual dark, subculture of the underground part of the city, where fear reigns supreme.

FOREGROUND: Excellent part’s of the story that are like a jigsaw puzzle, and piece together a solid, grandiose base that return our old favorites with far more depth. Wayne Manor, The Wayne Family Empire, Arkham Asylum, and the Batcave come through this incredibly woven script with sincerety, strength, and sound resolution.

STRUCTURE: Batman, aka the “Dark Knight” was known to the world as an avenger of sorts againt criminals, driven by the brutal murder of his parents by a robber outside a theater all those years ago. Batman Begins applies the filler for the gap that was how he learned how to fight with something besides sheer will. The mountain top martial arts training center with the League of Shadows was superb, and fit the story well. Bruce Wayne trains here not just to learn how to fight, but also how to conquer fear. His training is an attempt that one day he will be used as the leader of a vehicle that will rid Gotham of crime once and for all. However, more happens within this subplot, for Batman is not on the side of vengeance or justice, but the balance between.

CAST AND CHARACTERS: Christian Bale will make you quickly forget anyone else that has ever played the role. Beyond the physique, his voice and calm stare bring to life Bob Kane’s creation from the pages of the comic all over again. Liam Neeson and Katie Holmes are also excellent in their roles.

VILLIAN: Never before has a villian brought from the comic book to the big screen been so simplistic, yet so complex while attaining true evil. You will witness this when you encounter THE SCARECROW!

Qoute from the movie: “Crime, Despair, this is not how man was supposed to live…the league of shadows has been a check against human corruption for thousands of years. We sacked Rome…loaded trade ships with plague rats…and burned London to the ground. Every time a civilization reaches the pinnacle of it’s decadence, we return to restore the balance.”

Batman Begins is more than a comic book movie adaption, more than just a show. It’s in EPIC TALE about justice, vengeance, and the balance that lies with the two between good and evil.

The Making of a Legend – The Nature of Fear This is the way it should be: an ordinary man who rises above tragedy and his own guilt and fear to become something more. A legend. An icon. The Batman.
“Batman Begins” does not flinch for a moment in its portrayal of the origins of the Dark Knight. We do not even see the Batman we know until the film is half over. What we see first is Bruce Wayne, his tragic childhood and the burdens he carries as an adult, and finally the choices he makes that turn him into a symbol for hope in the face of dark times and evil people. This is how we come to understand how a man can become so driven, so focused, so honed and balanced, like a weapon always prepared to strike. The first act of “Batman Begins” shows us not only his physical training, but his mental and spiritual rigor as well. We come to understand the man beneath the mask, before he ever puts the mask on.

And then, when he does finally don the familiar cowl and cape, it is so much more powerful, so much more bellievable than it ever has been before. We see a man who understands what the nature of fear is, and for the rest of the film he uses it against his enemies, the criminals who are tearing his city apart, and those who threaten to tear it down completely. Because as much as “Batman Begins” is about the creation of the legend that is Batman, it is also about fear. Coming to understand one’s fears, to face them down, and finally to use them as tools. Bruce Wayne understands this when he puts on the mask and the cape, and one of his foes understands it as well. The nature of fear forms the subtext and undercurrent of this powerful film.

And what a film it is. The casting is ideal, from Christian Bale as the best Bruce Wayne/Batman dichotomy to ever grace the screen, to Gary Oldman as the perfect Sergeant (soon to be Commissioner?) Gordon, to Liam Neeson as…well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The direction of Christopher Nolan captures with crystal clarity, and for the first time on screen, the dual aspects of the Batman character — the man, and the hero. The musical score, a unique partnership of Hans Zimmer’s dramatic style and James Newton Howard’s understated themes, suits the film beautifully, carrying the dramatic aspects while avoiding the use of a catchy theme. The story is well-paced, with a good blend of finely-tuned character development and high-octane action to keep it interesting, leading up to a pulse-pounding conclusion that will leave you breathless.

I’m inescapably reminded of “Unbreakable,” the only other film I can think of which takes the concept of a comic-book hero and deals with it in a real-world context. Both films share a grounding in reality, a hope that things can be better than they are, and an emotional center which should resonate in even the most cynical heart. Chances are good that if you like “Unbreakable,” you’ll like “Batman Begins,” and vice-versa.

At last, you can forget Joel Schumacher’s Batman flops, and you can even lay aside Tim Burton’s efforts at bringing the Batman to the screen. Finally, in “Batman Begins,” we have a film that treats the Batman as he should be treated — a complex character who is both legend and man, who looks his fear in the eye and brings a new understanding of fear to his enemies, who buries himself inside a cocoon built of his own doubts, fears, and guilt but emerges as a changed man, free to fly above darkened streets.

“Batman Begins” is certainly one of the best comic-book movies ever made, primarily because it treats the subject seriously and honestly, but more than that, it is a challenging film that confronts the subject of fear and the nature of heroism head-on. Here is where we see that being a hero doesn’t mean having special powers or abilities…a hero is defined by the choices he makes, and by the actions he takes.

Truly, a brilliant film.

The Dark Knight Arrives… Finally! “Forget about all the previous Batman films. “Batman Begins” blows every single one of them out of the water. No Contest.

Christian Bale is Batman/Bruce Wayne. This is the first film of the series where the hero is the focus resulting in a much more compelling and more focused storyline.

This isn’t “The Joker” co-starring Batman, ala the 1989 film and the strongest of the previous incarnations. The problem with that film was that Jack Nicholson was just too over the top as the Joker (if that’s possible). It seemed for the audience that it was all about “hey , look at the chances Jack is taking in this role” rather than getting lost in the character. Jack’s hammy acting seemed to place the story in a secondary role.

Not the case here. There were two themes present in this movie: 1) Fear and 2)Relationships.

When we meet Bruce early in the film, we see he originally has a fear of bats after a very harrowing(and fateful) incident. We then see Bruce’s attempts to conquer his fear after the tragic and very brutal murder of his parents, by throwing himself into the heart of the criminal element. This eventually leads Bruce to a “Monastery” where he meets Ra’s Al Ghul and comes under the tutelidge of the enigmatic Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson) who teaches Bruce how to use fear as an effective weapon. This weapon, the most important in The Batman’s arsenal, is used skillfully in this film, showing us, from the perspective of the criminals, what it’s like to be hunted by The Batman. Fear is also the weapon of the Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy) used to chilling and sometimes disturbing results. Finally, The Batman must overcome fear to defeat the Scarecrow and “Ra’s Al Ghul.”

“Batman Begins” has more emphasis on strong relationships than any of its recent contemporaries. The strength of young Bruce’s relationship with his parents, especially his father, manages to make their inevitable deaths all the more horrifying. Equally important is the mentor/student relationship of Henri Ducard and Bruce. Ducard becomes a father figure to the young man which figures prominently in the film’s climactic battle. Thomas Wayne instills in his son moral strength and the courage to stand against evil. Henri Ducard instills in Bruce unwavering focus and, when needed, ruthlessness.

I especially loved the relationships between Bruce and the supporting cast:
Bruce and Alfred – Hearfelt, touching and believable. Michael Caine is the best Alfred. Period.

Batman and Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) – Loved the intial mistrust, turning into mutual respect. Lt. Gordon is one good cop in a sea of corruption in the Gotham Police Force. Batman needs Gordon and Gordon needs Batman, a truism only alluded to in Tim Burton’s initial outing.

Bruce and Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman) – Addresses the question of how and where Batman gets his gadgets (especially the very cool Batmobile). Loyalty and trust are very important in this relationship. As mentioned in a previous review, Fox is like James Bond’s “Q”.

As for Katie Holmes, she’s not as weak as many reviewers have reported. Her role as a tough attorney who grew up with Bruce worked for me. She was certainly the most resourceful and down- to- earth of the all the series’ love interests.

Great action sequences, excellent acting and a compelling back-to- basics story make this the ultimate Batman film.

CREDIT by iBluray

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