Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Batman Review Project-Part Six-Batman Begins and The Dark Knight

So after the mind numbing badness of Batman and Robin people were done with non animated Batman movies for what is a long time in entertainment and movie time. The only good thing to come from Batman and Robin was that we have our current series of films and since these films are recent I'm not going to do the summary, I'm just going to give my feelings and thoughts on these two films.

At first I really had no desire to see Batman Begins. I just didn't care and wasn't interested since it was first leaked around has Batman 5. I honestly didn't pay any attention to any of the hype going on since I was in school full time,work part time and a bad case of personal BS. It wasn't until my dad offered to take me and my than boyfriend (now husband) to go see it and I never turn down free movies. Holy shit...this is what happens when I don't pay attention to the hype, I'm treated to a surprise and a great movie. I have to give Nolan credit for making a Batman movie for people who haven't read a single comic from the series or who might not of had a clue who Batman was. This was the perfect blend of intro/reboot. I still enjoy the 1st Batman from 1989, but this had a much better story that would be easy for a non comic/superhero fan to follow and they actually have emotion and heart in the story that make you think instead of the dumb fun that was found in the 89 Batman. 

I love the fact that were treated to the building of the relationship between Gordon and Batman, something that was never really addressed in the other films and we build on the corrupt police department aiding the mob and gangs that was briefly touched on in the 89 film, but not brought to a good conclusion or really built up. I also enjoy the fact that we see Bruce not only becoming Batman, but creating the persona of a rich playboy so that when people look at him they don't see anything worthwhile in him. Bale did an amazing job playing the three parts of Batman- Rich, Out On the Town Bruce, Batman and the Bruce that we see when he's not the other guy. Keaton did a good job playing the normal Bruce, but he lacked the other two parts and well let's not talk about the other two Batman's. 

The only weak link in the first one is Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes. I just don't care for Katie Holmes so it was hard to lose myself in her character. She just felt silly and out of place next to all her male counterparts who took each scene and owned it. Every time she was on screen I just wanted her to go away.

On the other hand I paid attention to all the hype around The Dark Knight and by the time is came out I didn't go and see it because I didn't want to deal with the crowds going to see it and I wanted to watch it after the hype went down to see if it was as good as everyone was going on about. Somehow I managed to stay spoiler free until the movie came out on Blu-ray and I was able to enjoy it at home. This is so far my favorite in the Nolan series and close to being my favorite Batman movie overall. 

Since I paid attention to the hype surrounding The Dark Knight I was treated to all the first wave bitching about casting Heath Ledger as the Joker, the changes made to his back story and the re-casting of Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel Dawes. I couldn't count how many times I had to listen to some uber fan boy cry foul about this re-imagining of the Joker and back story. I listened to whining about how Heath Ledger was a rom-com guy and had no business rubbing make up on his face and playing Joker. Than the trailers came out and than Heath Ledger passed away...wow the uber fan boys did a massive turn around really quick after the trailers and his passing. Suddenly enough praise couldn't be given to his performance and the re-telling of his story. Now I'm not saying that his performance doesn't deserve the praise, he is amazing to watch on screen and if I hadn't of know that was Heath Ledger I would have been surprised. He disappeared into that role and I lost myself in that character. I do wonder though if he hadn't of passed would he gotten the same praise, what work would he being now and would it have been as good as this performance? 

The other bitch I heard, but not as loudly was the re-casting of Rachel Dawes. I really hadn't seen enough of Maggie Gyllenhaal's work to form any opinion of her so I walked into this movie with a clean slate and I like her. One compliant I heard was that she wasn't as pretty as Holmes and to that I say 'Who gives a shit?' She actually felt like a fleshed out character that could actually act and be equal with her male counterparts and compared to vapid girls of Batman's past I say yeah. 

I think I did the right thing waiting until the buzz had died down so I could watch the movie without a lot of people pressuring me to like it. The story was one that caught your attention and held it the whole time, even the sub-plots held your attention and that is saying something. All the actors in this film were amazing to watch and I know a lot of people were buzzing for a Oscar nod for Ledger, but I felt that Aaron Eckhart should have gotten a nod for something. This guy made you like him from the second he stepped onto the screen and to watch him slowly turn from the nice guy to the disfigured killer is a huge leap and he did it so well and without missing a beat. His turn to being a 'bad guy' felt like it should happen and even when he was the bad guy you still felt sorry for him and wanted him to come back.I'm going to see The Dark Knight Risestomorrow after I leave work...I hate dealing with crowds at movies so this is the best way I know to go see a movie. In the afternoon on a weekday. So far I've managed a media black out about movie details and look forward to 

Both these films had a great story, great dialogue, the way they built each relationship felt real and they made you feel for each character and never once do you feel cheated or short changed with any of the story or plot points. I know that a Batman reboot might happen in a few years so that Warner Brothers can do a Justice League movie, but I think they're going to be hard pressed to top the story telling in this series.

We're nearing the end of our review project and I hope people have enjoy reading the series. I'm going to see The Dark Knight Risestomorrow after I leave work...I hate dealing with crowds at movies so this is the best way I know to go see a movie. In the afternoon on a weekday. So far I've managed a media black out about movie details and look forward to seeing the final chapter.

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