Sunday, June 26, 2005
MEANWHILE AT THE MOVIES... Batman Begins
Batman Begins was released with a lot of favorable industry and critical buzz, as well as being helmed by a successful director and featuring a cast of solid actors, so expectations were a bit high. That said, I always know it's dangerous to have high expectations, because with Hollywood, it's all too easy to be let down. It's much better to have low expectations, and be pleasantly surprised. In this case, the movie did not live up to the hype, at all.
That's not to say it wasn't a good movie, or that I didn't enjoy it. I just had more problems with it than I would've liked, to make it a movie I really favor.
To me, Batman Begins is probably my third favorite Batman film, behind Batman Forever, and the original Tim Burton. While Tim Burton's original was a bit too slow and long overall, the spirit and approach was magical, really capturing, or creating it's own Bat mythos, and while Schumacher's take on the caped crusader was widely panned (and deservedly so with Batman and Robin), I thought his Batman Forever was a fun comic romp, that's cast really took flight.
Batman Begins strength is in it's faithful, more serious approach, but I think that's also what kept the film from ever really clicking for me. In fact, much of the movie missed it's mark for me. From the cast; Christian Bale is a great actor, but he seemed to be a bit too subdued in his portrayal (then at times spot on, like when he goes all out, and his Batman was howling at criminals), and Katie Holmes is a genuinely likeable actress, that is a bit robbed of that in her thinner frame. To the Bat suit, I really think they really should've taken this new direction in the film series to come up with a different approach, the rubber muscles and cowl just don't work for me, every time Batman's on screen, I find myself taken out of the film, staring at the eye-makeup under the cowl and such. Then there's the quotes the movie drops and picks up through-out, at times painfully trite, and others fabulously successful, if the screenwriters would've just limited trimmed down on those, they would have been a great success (like when Bruce quotes back something to Rutger Hower's character at the end).
Then there's the action/fighting sequences, with the same problem as Star Wars Episode III, they're filmed too tight and blurry to follow. Which for me, kind of sums up the movie, there was a lot good going on in the film, but just as much that detracted from that, so that I couldn't ever get fully engaged.