Attention all prequels, calling all prequels, please step aside… Batman has begun.
Today (well, actually starting last night), I watched “Batman Begins”. Growing up, of all the superheroes, Batman was my favorite one. His dark mysterious ass-kicking nature really drew me to the character. I still vividly remember all the Batman movies.
“Batman Begins” is really just that – how batman became. I don’t want to reveal any aspect of the plot, because this movie YOU MUST WATCH! It kept me on the edge of my seat. You know how sometimes when you really expect a lot out of a movie, like when you heard “Matrix 2” was gonna be out, and everyone got really excited, and then you sat in the theater watching it for 2.5 hours waiting and waiting for all the bullshit philosophical rambling to end and SOMETHING, and I mean SOMETHING to happen, and nothing did? I was a little concerned when I saw all the ratings that “Batman Begins” got - the “A+”s and “8.6/10”s, and “3 thumbs up” and what not… Scared me just a tad. So I went in a little concerned, but a little excited. And it was worth it.
I think it also helped that there was actually very little media speculation about this movie before it’d released. I don’t remember seeing any commercials on TV, don’t recall seeing any hype on any of the talkshows (ok ok fine the whole Katie Holmes-Tom Cruise affair, right). The first I remember hearing (seeing actually) about this movie was early this year at some movie theater in Bellevue, WA. I looked closely at the poster, and it said, “Christian Bale” as Batman. And I said to myself WHO ON EARTH IS CHRISTIAN BALE?? Instantly imdb-ed him on my phone – acting credits include “American Psycho”?? My shoulders drooped – this wasn’t going to happen. Like it wasn’t bad enough that “Batman & Robin” stooped and marked a new low in the Batman series, now this is going to turn Batman in to a joke. I’m a light sleeper – if a pin drops outside my room, I’ll wake up. And I slept through Batman & Robin. Twice. And ever since have decided to watch the movie on nights when I can’t fall asleep. Thats howmuch I hated Batman & Robin. So, the superhero who has time and again saved Gotham City was going to turn in to a joke. I decided to give up… I had to live by the old Batman movies for all my life. Nothing new could change what we’d already seen. We love Batman, and this movie, regardless of bad this move was going to be, was not going to change my perception.
So, Christian Bale is, well, he’s a’ight as Batman. Val Kilmer was and will be my favorite Batman. I don’t know why they ditched him. Ever since Michael Keaton, my perception of Bruce Wayne has been this guy in his mid to late 30s, and Bale just doesn’t look it. In the movie, Bale starts off by looking like a rebel without a cause (which is perfect), but he is supposed to mould in to the Bruce Wayne we know. The charming billionaire, who is Batman by night. And I couldn’t see Bale pulling that off. Katie Holmes has also done a great job – something else I didn’t expect. And, who on earth is Cillian Murphy, and where has he been all this while? Now that guy can act…
Christopher Nolan has tried to make Batman Begins way too real. Batman is fictional, as is Gotham City, as are all the freakish villians. Everything you will see in Batman Begins appears too damned real – there wasn’t a single effect in the movie that appeared unreal. For example, lets take the Joker or Two Face, or the Riddler’s scheming plot (brain waves!) in Batman Forever. All seem so fictitious, but that was what Batman was about. That element - the unreal, is missing in this one. But it still kicked ass man.
My favorite Batman movie of all time, still remains – “Batman Forever”. Something about my favorite actor, Jim Carrey, playing a loony villian was just too much. That, the rest of the cast (Tommy Lee Jones, Nicole Kidman et al), the plot, and the soundtrack just did it for me. “Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me” by U2 and “Kiss by a Rose” by Seal, are still two of my favorite songs.
Also, it didn’t help that I watched the beginning of the MTV Movie Awards – no. Jimmy Fallon pulled of an amazing spoof of Batman Begins at the awards. I was laughing my head off watching Fallon’s parody even though I hadn’t seen the movie. And so, watching the movie after having seen the parody, made things even funnier.
Anyhoo, its 3.20am, and I’m all jazzed up about this movie. Can’t sleep (maybe I should watch Batman & Robin <wink>). And more importantly, I can’t stop imagining whats coming down the road – I mean, we’ve prequeled all the way up to the point where Batman Begins – so, where do we go from here?
PS: “Riddle me this, riddle me that, who’s afraid of the big black bat?”