Batman Begins (Single-Disc Widescreen Edition)
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Batman Begins (DVD) (WS)
As a young boy, Bruce Wayne watched in horror as his millionaire parents were slain in front of him--a trauma that leads him to become obsessed with revenge. But the opportunity to avenge his parents' deaths is cruelly taken away from him by fate. Fleeing to the East, where he seeks counsel with the dangerous but honorable ninja cult leader known as Ra's Al-Ghul, Bruce returns to his now decaying Gotham City, which is overrun by organized crime and other dangerous individuals manipulating the system. Meanwhile, Bruce is slowly being swindled out of Wayne Industries, the company he inherited. The discovery of a cave under his mansion, along with a prototype armored suit, leads him to assume a new persona, one which will strike fear into the hearts of men who do wrong; he becomes Batman!!!]]>
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?
Cowritten 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 Batman Comics and Graphic Novels
Batman Begins Soundtrack
Stills from Batman Begins (click for larger images)
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Top customer reviews
I went into this thinking, "They've DONE the whole Batman thing. Why put us through it AGAIN?! The first Burton/Keaton Batman was da bomb. "Returns" was decent, "Forever" was entertaining but sadly lacking. Seriously, with a cast like Drew Barrymore, Jim Carrey, Tommy Lee Jones, Nicole Kidman, Val Kilmer, and Kevin Grevioux (Raze of Underworld fame), how could Schumacher screw that up? Well, he found a way, and with the release of "Batman & Robin," it became painfully obvious that the end of Batman was more than just "in sight," it was here.
I grieved the death of what could have been a terriffic franchise, and I moved on.
Then along comes Goyer. He wrote "Blade: Trinity," and while I am NO fan of that movie, we'll blame the studio's cut and Parker Posey's horrible acting...for now. I will give him the benefit of the doubt because he has also written some great screenplays and stories. Blade, Blade 2, and Dark City are all his, but his writing abilities seem to be more hit-and-miss than substantially consistent talent.
Christopher Nolan directs and kicks in his two cents' worth in the screenplay department... I'm not impressed with his body of work. I liked Insomnia, but let's face it: Nothing I'd seen so far said to me that Batman Begins would even be watchable, much less entertaining.
To be honest, I didn't even WANT to like this movie for several reasons...
* Michael Keaton did so well with Batman
* Schumacher was so total in his obliteration of the franchise, I could not see any reason to beat the dead horse
* A fan of the "Dark Knight" I was tired of being disappointed at the cinema by the direction in which the franchise had gone
I must say that I'm very glad I saw this in the theater (on the "big screen"). Just think; I almost missed witnessing a true rebirth of this franchise!
The casting was work of art in itself. Some unlikely choices really REALLY pay off. Two character actors were cast against type, but it seems to have been a brilliant choice!
The effects were dynamic, and the sets and backgrounds were more than realistic. The stunts seemed to be more wire work than CGI (thankfully), lending a more believable and realistic feel to this endeavor. And gone (again, thankfully) are the hiddeous nipples from the Bat-Suit! (Curses Joel Schumacher for ever adding them in !!)
The thing which most impressed me about this film was the story. It was fantastic! I've read reviews by the "professional" reviewers, and one in particular claimed that the movie got lost in the beginning to find itself again only at the end. I'm learning NOT to listen to the "professional" reviewers and to judge for myself.
I have to say that by going through the changes in the beginning, you fully understand the motivations and abilities demonstrated by the Dark Knight. Because quite frankly, this isn't just Batman anymore. If the new franchise follows this first installment, it will literally BE the Dark Knight vein of the comic book series! THIS is the Batman I grew up with, not the campy, weak-@ss byotch who cracks off one-liners while feebly dealing justice to ineptly stupid criminal miscreants. Adam West was "A" Batman. Michael Keaton was "THE" Batman. Bale is the Dark Knight; it's a totally different animal.
The nemeses in this one are Ra's Al Ghul and the Scarecrow, with a promise of meeting the Dark Knight's "Joker" in the next installment!
This movie exhibits perfect direction from start to finish, never loses itself, never loses the audience, and with great relish fights its way through to a superb and satisfying ending.
I can't WAIT for the next one!
It gets a 9.5/10 and yes, that's a big leap from the rating I gave Burton's Batman cuz let's face it: Bale isn't a better Batman, but the movie itself is LIGHTYEARS better!
Batman Begins takes the hero to its origins in a most realistic, dark way. Bruce Wayne is not a perfect hero, he is driven by sorrow, anger, fear and desire of revenge and we see his struggle to overcome this in order to become Batman. Christian Bale is perfect as the tortured Wayne and also as the no-nosense Batman. What I like most about this film is how Nolan and Goyer were able to give Bruce Wayne the same weight as Batman and give him enough room to develop the character. Also, Bale is surrounded by an extraordinary supporting cast composed by Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy and Katie Holmes.
This film is not full of big action sequences or special effects. This is a much human and realistic portrait of an amazing character that slowly builds the foundation of future Batman films. A spectacular reboot.
Video & Audio:
BB has a solid but flawed video presentation. It's not bad and is superior to the SD DVD but it's not demo quality as The Dark Knight. Some night scenes look crushed and there is softness in some scenes. Still it offers balanced colors and there are not compression artifacts to see.
The 5.1 Dolby TrueHD is also great but it's not spectacular.
BB comes with some special features that include a PIP commentary, many featurettes which delves with the creation of Gotham, the cast, the action sequences, the special effects and more and the Imax Prologue of TDK. There is a great assortment of bonus material that will keep you engaged and entertained.
Batman Begins is the best origin movie for a superhero and the second best Batman movie (behind its sequel), its has a great story, a compelling hero and amazing supporting characters that make this film to stand above the usual hero films. Warner's BD is not perfect but its not awful and it has many insightful featurettes to keep you interested Recommended!!!
Now I want to address the Amazon Instant Video and Prime Video services regarding this movie:
Amazon's Instant Video allows for the "renting" of the movie for a reasonably low cost and has no membership requirements-- you don't pay if you don't watch -- and it is great (they could do better with the cataloging process)
The Prime Video Service does not always have the latest movies but for the price, the movie and tv selection is awsome -- you can't beat it at the $75 per YEAR price. And if you order things from amazon, chances are real good that you won't have to pay shipping -- the more you buy the more you save so you cant beat the value. I would recommend this to everyone.
I just wish for a browser that call allow me to schedual shows to play systematicly rather than having to go down a list one at a time -- sometimes I would like to just veg out like the old tv days (I don't pay for the cable/sat services because I just don't think I like paying for commercials).
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