Jun 182005

It is very late, and I’ve got one hell of a long day ahead of me tomorrow (today???), but I wanted to jot down a few thoughts about the new Batman movie.

There was once a movie about a guy who dressed up like a bat and went after bad guys. It was very similar to a comic book I read called Batman, and I enjoyed it very much, but it wasn’t quite…right. Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely loved the movie, but it wasn’t really what I had envisioned when I went into the theater that night.

This was back in the 1980’s, and the film was Tim Burton’s Batman.

The movie I saw tonight was everything I wanted that original movie to be.

See, here’s the thing for me. The reason why I associate so heavily with heroes like Spider-Man and Batman is because I can believe in them. I can believe that, given the circumstances that created them, they would turn out the way they did. Superman? Wolverine? Captain America? Love them all, but they never quite seemed like they could be real to me, and that was my problem with the Burton film. I couldn’t buy it. The model work was too obvious. Jack was…Jack. He wasn’t the Joker – At least not the Joker I knew from the comics. He was Jack in whiteface. Now don’t get me wrong – He was brilliant, but he was Jack. Michael Keaton? Couldn’t get beyond the fact that it was Betelgeuse in a Bat Suit. Prince? The farther removed he is from the Bat-universe the better.

I just couldn’t buy it.

I bought Batman Begins hook, line and sinker. It made SENSE. Yes, it took him a while to get into the suit – But it DID take him a while to get into the suit. You’re telling an origin story here. The Tim Burton films made it out like Bruce Wayne just got all these fancy toys and skills on his own. This movie showed how it happened. How he learned how to fight. How he got his toys. Why he wanted a cape. Why he chose bats. It was all there. We weren’t asked to just believe that he was a legend – We were shown that he deserved to be elevated to the status of one.

Michael Caine? He IS Alfred.

Christian Bale? Handled the duality of Bruce Wayne and Batman.

Gary Oldman? Wonderful, as always.

Kati…ok, so not all the casting was great. Honestly? She wasn’t all that bad. I just couldn’t stop thinking of all the recent publicity with her and Tommy Boy. Bad baggage for a budding young actress. I hope Mr. Cruise takes care of her.

Liam Neeson? He does the mentor thing far too well. Loved it.

The movie was dark. Very, very dark. So was Bruce – Initially. That was another thing that made sense to me. Now we see how he went from being so angry and guilt ridden to being someone with a code against killing? We saw him pushed over the edge and brought back, at least to the brink of sanity.

Loved it. God, did I love this movie.

Call me a blasphemer, but I think this blows the Tim Burton movies away.

Can’t wait for the next one.

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