June 24, 2005

Batman Begins: Guys Movie Night

The latest installment of Guys Movie Night turned co-ed when most of the guys couldn't make it to the show. The outdoor marquee displayed the titles showing like this: BATMAN BEWITCHED, which would make a pretty sad crossover.
This restart of the corrupted, ruined franchise (last seen in 1997) is the best movie Batman yet. In order to make this movie feel like a comic book, director Christopher Nolan (Memento, Insomnia) does not use "comic book-y" costumes, camera angles, or production design. Instead, the theme of this "origin story" goes to the heart of every superhero story: why Bruce Wayne wants to fight crime, how he discovers what kind of crime-fighter he wants to be, and how a world-famous billionaire with no superpowers can become an anonymous crimefighter without anyone discovering his secret.
Unlike previous Batman movies, where the Batman was always on the side of the audience, Batman often creeps up on us as much as his foes. In one memorable sequence, Batman stalks machine-gun-toting thugs among storage containers on the Gotham docks. We don't stalk the thugs with Batman- we view the whole sequence from the thugs' perspective, reminding me of Alien. Undercutting this other wise effective technique: the fight sequences are shot so close to the action, it's hard to see who's punching who.
Nolan has an A+list cast to work with: Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Liam Neeson, Michael Caine, Rutger Hauer, Morgan Freeman, Tom Wilkinson, and Cillian Murphy. The only disastrous casting choice: Katie Holmes as an Assistant District Attorney-slash-love interest. Bruce Wayne is 30 years old, but Holmes looks way too young to be a lawyer, even though she's twenty-six. See my post Katie Holmes: Unconvincing Adult. (AMC Burlington)

ALSO by Gary Oldman on STUB HUBBY:Batman & Stub Hubby

Also By Chris Nolan on Stub Hubby