Sunday, July 24, 2005



So I went out and saw Batman Begins tonight. Yeah...I know. Its been a month or so since it came out, but really this was the first time I had a chance to get to a movie since I saw Fantastic Four last week.

Actually, I was supposed to meet up with RyanW, one of the White Wolf Moderated Chat STs, tonight. But then the goddamned terrorists felt that they wanted to remind London that they still had the power to make loud noises, so that sort of killed that plan.

But...yes. The movie. It was good. Miles and miles above the shit that Shumacher has produced, not to mention the oddities of Batman: Returns. It lagged a bit at times, but it built a very interesting portrayel of the rather like my own "Vengeance in All Things", which was actually a concept piece that I came up with over a year ago for a rather odd cult in a rather odd RPG I've been developing with AlexanderLambert's assistance. So I'm very happy to see that someone sees the Batman the same way I do. Well...or can see him. I prefer the Batman that appears occasionally in the pages of "Birds of Prey" and "Gotham Central"...but this cinematic version was A-OK by me.

The building of the mythos was nice. It was a real step-by-step process to Bruce Wayne literally becoming something else. I loved the shift of Gotham from this Metropolis-style miracle into the Gotham we know today. Ok, Arkham wasn't quite where it should have been (but then again it worked here as a maximum security prison rather than that creepy Lovecraftian asylum up on the hill [which it was originally named after IIRC]). The cityscape was...nice. It didn't have massive statues everywhere for no good reason, it didn't have every building lined with neon, and it didn't have legions of wacky street gangs. And it relied mostly on comic book characters...with the exception of the female lead, who continues to vex me to no end.

Ra's, pronounced "Raws" here rather than "R-ae-sh" (as it was on the animated series), was nicely done. He didn't talk about the Lazarus Pit, but he gave the slight suggestions that he was very, very, very old. The League of Shadows made more sense here than it did as a group of super-ecoterrorists bent on world domination. A secret society dedicated to the preservation of mankind through the destruction of its excesses. Nice idea. Plus...y'know...they never said at the end whether or not they found a body.

The Scarecrow was quite neat. Crane looked very unassuming, and incorporating the gas mask AND voice synthesizer into his hood (not to mention the line "we all wear masks, Mister Falcone...let me show you mine" which gave him quite a high creep factor) was quite a neat idea. Plus he didn't spend the movie babbling on about people's phobias...they switched him from a psychopharmacologist specializing in phobias into a plain old psychopharmacologist.

There were a nice couple of cameos. The most obvious was the playing card at the end, but another one was that of Victor Zasz, a rather merciless psychopath who made a habit of cutting his own skin whenever he killed someone, and who was notable in No Man's Land for his brutal rampage. Nice little cameo there, and a nice show of his scars.

I honestly think they're setting up for the return of Ra's in a future film, and I'm betting that's when Talia is going to make her appearence. I could just feel the plot hole left open for her existance, and the romantic dead end that killed Bruce and Rachel's relationship. Hurrah.

The camera work in the Batman-fight scenes was superb. He vanished and was just shown at the edges, like a monster in a good horror movie. He took people out with the classic ease of the Bat, and whats more he made it look GOOD, and he made it look terrifying. The lights would go out, and suddenly someone would get yanked off to the side. Then there'd be a flash of black and someone would go flying. You can see how THIS Batman would easily evoke terror.

So...yeah. Its going on the list of movies I'm going to grab on DVD. Already got Constantine and Sin City on order, those should arrive at home about mid-August...over half a month before I get back. My father will probably end up breaking in SC for me, since he wanted to see it but couldn't.

That is all for now.


Blogger Alexander Lambert said...

Two things.

"Ra's... didn't talk about the Lazarus Pit, but he gave the slight suggestions that he was very, very, very old."

Actually, he was very specific that Ra's was not an immortal or a man of supernatural means, and that the League of Shadows extolled theatrics and misdirection above all other aspects of their ninja motif. This, coupled with his line to Bruce of "are you ready to lead these men" (rather than join them), very strongly implies that The-Head-of-the-Demon (I think that's a reasonably accurate translation of the aramaic) is not the man's name, but his title as the head of the League, and that Bruce was recruited not to merely be another of their assassins, but to become the next head of the order after the current Ra's al Ghul retired (as per the longstanding comics plotline of Talia's romantic pursuit of Bruce).

Secondly, am I the only one who sees the screamingly obvious sequel potential of Batman having already turned away in disgust from a "League" that talks at length about the pursuit of justice? Personally, I'm thinking (by which I mean praying) that they'll save Talia until the Superman film currently in development either tanks or soars, and the studio decides whether or not a team-up film (which would then obviously lead into the Justice League franchise) is fiscally viable.

12:56 p.m.  

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