Discussion: ‘Batman Begins’

After over a decade of crap on the big screen, the day that Batfans have been waiting for has finally arrived!

Batman Begins opens today!

The buzz (especially from comic people, movie geeks, and people who know what they are talking about and are not overly pretentious movie critics) has been excellent and the trailers have been sufficiently dark and gritty. I literally can’t wait.

In 1989, I wore a Batman t-shirt to school almost everyday, which is a risky thing to do in junior high. I was so excited then and that summer I saw Batman more than 10 times at the theater. It has been a slow spiral of disappointment for this uber-Batfan ever since.

Curse you, Schumacher! And curse you, Warner Bros.! Batman is cool and you ruined him in the eyes of the general public for over ten years! But I have a strong suspicion that the day of redemption is finally at hand.

East Coast iFanboy will be hitting the theater at 7:45pm. The same theater in which we saw Spider-Man 2 and Frank Miller’s Sin City, so the movie karma is strong.

Since the movie officially starts showing at around 11am, depending on your theater, this is your official SPOILER WARNING. Comments found below may or may not contain spoilers, so if you don’t want things ruined for you, don’t read any further until you see the movie.


  1. I wore batman shirts to school every day too. my mom sold them when I was a kid. batman and bartman.

  2. Oh my god.

    That’s basically what started going through my head about halfway through this movie and it didn’t stop for about an hour afterwards.

    They nailed it.

    I mean they fucking *nailed it*.

    Forget any Batman you’ve seen before, THIS IS BATMAN.

    I have A LOT more to say but I have to gather my thoughts.

    I feel like a different person after seeing this film.

  3. Okay, forget every other superhero movie – SPIDER-MAN 2, X2, THE HULK, SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE – this one, I think, blows them all out of the water.

    It is a Batman comic book come to life in a way that is so much closer to the source material than anything they’ve done with SPIDER-MAN.

    The ending of this movie is perfect and you could hear the tittering of the crowd once the realization of what was being said started to set in.

    Finally – a movie with a worthy James Gordon!!!!!

    I literally cannot believe that the twist that comes right before the final act was kept a secret and it is so perfect and makes so much sense that I feel dumb for not seeing it coming, especially as a Batfan.

    The cast was – top-to-bottom – perfect. I never thought that I’d forget Michael Keaton’s Batman but I already have.

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! I need the sequel now!

  4. Oh man. I’m seeing it tomorrow night with some people from work. I can’t wait.

    So glad you liked it, Conor.

  5. Now, everyone knows I have strong Marvel leanings and I’ve bene particularly enjoying Marvel’s dominance at the box office – but I have to say, the tide just turned towards DC and I don’t know if it will swing back to Marvel anytime soon.

    Conor was accurate – they nailed it – every aspect of what makes Batman so good, they got it. From the tech and the training to the relationship with Alfred – they got it all.

    And Gordon ruled.

    I’m very impressed, I left the theater hungry for the sequel, but until then, I guess I’ll go see this again, and again and again.

  6. It wasn’t just good – it was SHOCKINGLY good.

  7. WOW
    after reading those reviews i think i might take off at lunch and get to a movie theatre to see this…

    or tonight

    now i can’t wait.

    glad to hear everyone so far loved it!!!!

  8. GO NOW!

  9. Why is everyone not seeing this on opening day?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

  10. uh oh, here comes a dissenting view:

    I’m torn and disappointed. I enjoyed it for what it was but didn’t love it. And I knew it was going to end up like this. It seems like Nolan had his way through the first half and then someone else came in in the second half saying: “You what this movie needs…” and ruined it.

    It suffered from Spiderman 1 syndrome. The stuff when he’s out of costume is better then the stuff in costume. I have absolutely no desire to see it again. However I’m thinking the sequel will be much improved especially without an hour of Evil Qui Gon carrying on. Spiderman 2 shows that both the stuff in costume can be just as interesting as the stuff out.

    The back story was a bit long but good. In any other movie where we don’t know the characters it’s brilliantly done. But with Batman we don’t need over an hour…we just don’t.

    In regards to the Ra’s realization, I was reading A Ra’s story last night and I kept thinking how much Liam Neeson looks like him. I mean what are the chances that Ra’s has a henchman with the EXACT SAME FACIAL HAIR AS HIM? If’s he’s going to have a Decoy at least lose the face muskrat.


    all the actors: Falconie was awesome. Alfred was awesome. Bruce was perfect. Gordon was awesome. Katie Holmes was not. She should be chucked off a bridge. Batman is really a boys club and girls should not be allowed.

    Gotham: looked perfect. Aside from the elevated train it was perfect.

    Arkham: When Bats is running through you can see all the crazies forming plans in their twisted little minds already.

    Zsasz. My favorite 4th? tier Bat-villain!

    Scarecrow: That guy is CUH-reepy!

    That the movie was about batman not the villians.

    didn’t like:

    the action: muddy. unfocused. a rooftop car chase? remember when that was in Batman and Robin? Yeah it sucked then too. The whole movie is spent grounding these characters and then the rooftop car chase ruins it for me.

    the end: ridiculous. it was like LXG. Why was Gordon in the Batmobile again pushing buttons like Anakin? And: “Well Spiderman 2 had an elevated train maybe we better have one. You know, for the kids.”

    parents death:

    that it was bruce’s “fault” that his parents got killed. totally unnecesary.

    too many plotlines:

    the mob boss, Ra’s, and scarecrow all could have carried the movie by themselves. The fact that in a about 5 minutes the most powerful crime boss in the city was done? meh.

    Arg, just writing about gets me frustrated. I guess for me, it was a very good try and it got alot of things right but in the end, I wanted better. At least there’s the sequel.

  11. Wow, I think I disagree with almost every point you have, Nick. Except for the part about Katie Holmes, who was not up to par with the rest of the cast.

  12. Just from poking around the net, I know I’m not alone, just in the minority.

    Not gonna be hatin.

    I’m trying to focus on the positive, here.

    The human yoyo was nicely done. I like that Bale was putting out a bit extra to scare the cop.

    I would revise my statement in that I liked the stuff in costume, just not the typical action movie stuff in the end. The bits with him horror movie-ing the thugs was perfect. And when he shows up at Arkham the thugs reluctance to go get him.

    maybe it will grow on me.

  13. Wow Nick – harsh.

    But after reading your comments, I can say that I see where you’re coming from, the points are valid – bt just don’t agree with them as much as you do or I didn’t dislike the movie as much as you did.

    My Cons list would be:
    – Katie holmes – but what can you do?
    – Batman’s bat-voice – I cringed a little everytime he talked in costume – I understand why, but it just didn’t flow very well
    – I just want one batman movie where the girl doesn’t find out
    – The Batman/Gordon convo before the climax – just seemed so obviously scripted and unnatural

    But aside from those, I really don’t have any complaints – there was alot going on, plot-wise, but I think it all tied in together well to a resolution.

    I actually really liked the train, didn’t even think of the Spider-Man 2 scene.

    It was similar to Spidey 1, but I think that the first movie needs to be – I would imagine the next movie wil be more in costume.

    We’re all allowed our opinions, and I do agree with Nick on alot, but I stil freaking loved it.

  14. See, I found the whole “journey to Batman” theme to be really interesting. It was called BATMAN BEGINS, afterall. From people I have talked to who have seen the movie (and aren’t comic booko readers), they really liked seeing how he got to be trained and where all the gadgets, etc. came from. It’s the origin movie – you really can’t get around the origin being the focus.

  15. I think that’s my problem is that I liked the origin stuff but I wanted a movie chock full of Batman. These 2 ideas went at it like Two Face while I was watching.

    My girlfriend said the same thing that conor mentioned: she liked seeing how he got trained and where he got the toys.

    I just was questioning the length of the origin. Take 10 minutes away from the flashbacks of his dad and Qui Gon and instead have 10 minutes of him learning the ropes inthe suit and I’m already happier.

    the bit with him sneaking into Gordon’s office was a good step.

    Most of these things I’ve been saying are totally geek nitpicks. And normally I hate the guy saying: “You know what would have made it better…” I just can’t help it.

    I will say again that it’s a well made movie, just not exactly the one I was hoping for.

    I also like that it was very seriously made. I think that Nolan has a great handle on the character of Bruce Wayne he now just needs to work with batman a bit more.


  16. The next two should be really interesting. Lots of Batman action.

    The review on AICN was right, though. The movie would have been 10x better if instead of Katie Holmes we had a young, idealistic Assistant DA Harvey Dent.

    And, c’mon how much did your little inner geek freak out at the final rooftop scene?!

    You know your little geek freaked out!

  17. ok ok, it freaked out. alot.

    you could hear the audience realize what was about to happen.

    hoping that we will see some detecting in the next one…what with CSI being so popular I would think we would get some of that.

    If the next one is a bit smaller in scale with Bats vs. Joker in a cat and mouse game in the Narrows sign me up.

  18. and I have to say I might complain about Batman but I do it out of love. and it seems to me the people involved with it really tried hard to get it right.

    on the other hand the fantastic 4 trailer makes me want to stick sharp things in my eyes.

    they should put it out on monday so they can release it on the 4th.

  19. We understand.

    Besides, no one takes seriously the opinion of the dude who didn’t like The Lord of the Rings movies. 😉

  20. You know what is pissing me off about reviews I’ve seen or read? People keep talking like BATMAN BEGINS is part of the other movies. A guy on the news last night said “… in the prequel BATMAN BEGINS…” and the Entertainment Weekly review (an ‘A’) says things like “Michael Caine taking over for Michael Gough…” These are relatively innocuous, but c’mon! This is a totally new continuity, a totally new mythology, a totally new world!

    Stupid sloppy reviewer writing.

  21. i know EXACTLY what you mean.
    i was watching ABC World News Tonight and they did a spot on Batman. the reporter said something like in the 6th instalment of the batman movies.
    or he said it in such a way as to infer that it should be considered part of the pevious series of movies.

    and they did the same thing on the radio this morning.


    you can tell these are people who have no intrest in the movie. they don’t plan on seeing it…
    it’s in front of them to plug it or mention it is coming out. so they do and it really gets me

  22. It’s true.

    My geek cred is in the toilet due to not liking LOTR. Although Fellowship has grown on me like a fat kiwi fungus.

    The girlfriend was confused when Joker was brought up. Yes it’s the early Batman but it’s rebooting because Shumacher is dumb.

    People would understand continuity much better if they just took an afternoon and read Crisis (and maybe some of the old JLA/JSA teamups)

  23. I saw a bit of Batman Forever on tv the other night, and really I should keep my complaining about Batman Begins to myself…

    I just have this feeling that Begins will be looked at like Xmen1 and Spidey1…

  24. Schumacher’s Batman world should get swallowed in a white wall of anti-matter.

  25. “i was watching ABC World News Tonight and they did a spot on Batman. the reporter said something like in the 6th instalment of the batman movies.”

    You know, if the ABC World News Tonight guy is going to be technical about it – he should be counting BATMAN (1966) as well as the BATMAN & ROBIN shorts from the 40s. So it’s really like the 9th Batman film.


  26. the contempt that conor has for the mainstream media in regards to batman is delicious.

    conor, did you read the arkham asylum run from shadow of the bat 1-4? that’s what really kicked my batman appreciation up a whole lot.

  27. I saw it. I liked it. I hated Katie Holmes’ speech in the car and I hated the little conversation between batman and gordon right before the climax. i hated the bat-voice too.
    But it was fantastic and I would see it again immediately. I loved crane.

  28. You know what I would have liked? The batman theme from the 1989 movie. that’s something I would have loved.

  29. Why, BATMAN: SHADOW OF THE BAT #1-4 is one of my all-time favorite Batstories and cemented Norm Breyfoglye as my all-time favorite Batartist.

    I liked the Batvoice, I think it works. Sue me.

  30. I have to say that — on reflection — I liked this movie so much that it has diminished Tim Burton’s BATMAN in my eyes.

  31. With all my other nitpicks I didn’t mind the batvoice at all. And when he was grilling the cop I thought it was splendid.

    well, the lighter stuff stands out more now in Batman1989…In contrast Batman1989 feels more like the 1970s Batman, where there still was some lightheartedness even though the overall tone was dark.

    They should collect Norm Breyfogle’s Batmans…I’m going to get some comics for a plane trip right now, and if they had a trade of the Best O’ Breyfogle’s Batman I’d buy it in a second.

  32. What’s sad is, we ran into him at a convention a few years ago and he was saying how he’d love to work but no one calls him… idiots. If I was running DC he’d have a regular Batgig.


    According to the Box Office Mojo web site, Batman Begins brought in $15.1 million on its opening day on Wednesday.

    It was the 11th biggest opening ever for a Wednesday.

    The film opened in 3,718 theaters domestically — a record for a Warner Bros. film — and in 71 territories worldwide.

    It will expand to 3,858 theaters on Friday

  34. holy hell batman…

    i saw it last night and i gotta say…WOW

    i was blown away, and i would have liked it if he didn’t put the suit on until the last 5 min.

    i was screaming about this movie for like 2 hours. text messaging, calling…i was so pumped up.


    i didn’t mind katie holms, the bat voice was kind of hokey, but i didn’t mind it to much.

    i liked scarecrow and the ninjas…maybe because i read this site yesterday, but how could liam nieson not be RA’s?

    Gary Oldman was perfect…PERFECT as gordon

    i’m still buzzing over this movie

    well done.

    my special batman movie cup had the old D.C. logo, while the movie had the new logo at the begining…hmmmmm
    i like the old logo i must say

  35. I don’t hate the new DC logo, I’m just shocked they so blatantly ripped of Marvel’s movie logo…

  36. the DC opening sequence thing is a huge Marvel rip off – its like a marketing guy at Time-Warner saw Spider-man and said “I want that!”

    Funniest random quote about Batman:
    I was telling a co-worker about it and he said he wanted to see it but from the commercials and previews, it looks like there are alot of ACTUAL bats. He wanted to know how many actual bats were in it and if it was like a major plot point…

    I was like, uhm, in like 3 scenes there are real bats and they help the plot but they’re not central

    and he said, “ok great, then I’ll go see it…”


  37. I read that comment on-line. Someone thought that there were going to be bats all over that movie.

    Some people are dumb.

  38. A friend of mine just told me that she wasn’t going to go see BATMAN BEGINS because she was tired of hearing about Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise!!!

  39. Finally saw it. I really liked it, thought it was a rock-solid reboot of the franchise. And that’s the thing…it’s solid. Top to bottom there wasn’t one element that I thought was bad. Which isn’t to say I didn’t have nitpicks…

    The Action. I love Christopher Nolan, really I do, but he should let the second unit guy direct the action scenes for the sequel. The opening Ras duel when the temple or whatever goes up was one of the most confusingly edited and staged action sequences I’ve seen in a while. And this goes double for the climactic action stuff and the train.

    Oddly enough, that didn’t really hurt the movie for me. My one overall complaint is, maybe I was just tired, but I didn’t really find the movie all that exciting. It lacked some juice. And some of Gordon’s one-liners were weak.

    But I did really like it. The acting was just top-notch. Katie Holmes didn’t really bother me, to be honest. I’m amazed how well some of these guys absolutely inhabited their characters. When I saw Gordon or Alfred or Falcone onscreen, I completely forgot I was looking at Oldman and Caine and Wilkinson.

    Loved the Scarecrow. Hopefully we get more of him in the sequels.

    I will see it again.

  40. A friend of mine mistakenly remarked after coming out of Star Wars Episode I that he had no complaints about the film. That line is now famous. But last night, I said the same thing. In hindsight, I can think of some quibbles, but only after they’re presented to me.

    This was a fantastic movie. It literally generated a giant smile on my face which stayed the whole time. Except when lil’ brucie watched his parents die. Then it was a sad face.

    This is a good point to bring up the idea that changes to the canon shouldn’t matter. I haven’t heard anyone mention it, but my position is that I don’t care. I didn’t care about the changes in LOTR, and I didn’t care about the changes in this movie, in order to make a movie which makes more sense. If Gordon was the cop who spoke to bruce in the police station, so be it. THey have a connection. Cutesy sure, but you need that kinda stuff in a two hour movie. There were some things in this that Frank Miller deserves royalties for. Look at Gordon in Year One and tell me the costume designer didn’t make Gary Oldman the spitting image. The repeated shot of the mouth of the cave is also directly from (I think) Dark Knight returns. The shots of the murdered Waynes was right from Year One. I guess the owe Dave Mazzuchelli as well. I would have liked to see giant military build Flass, as opposed to Lieutenant Eckart Flass, but they didn’t have a big fight, so there wasn’t really a point in that.

    The voice has been mentioned over and over. You’re out of your mind if you thought that was a bad idea. When the bat was scaring criminals, the voice is one of his greatest weapons of fear. When he’s boinging Flass up and down, and yelling at him like a demon, he was fucking scary. The comics constantly refer to the icy chill of the bat’s voice, and I think this was an admirable effort. The theater I saw this in had it turned way up, so when he yelled, you felt it. This was good.

    The fight scenes being somewhat unclear and frenetic I think was a choice, rather than a misstep. If you’re a criminal fighting a ninja, you don’t know what the fuck is going on, and that is batman’s advantage. The film depicted that confusion. I enjoyed that and found it appropriate. That style doesn’t work for a sports movie, but it worked for this.

    This has to be the first superhero movie grounded in reality. Everything that happened was real. There wasn’t a lot of post-modern eye-winking going on, and they made the first real effort to show that Batman is supposed to be scary to people. He’s supposed to be terrifying. They showed that. I can’t believe I thought Michael Keaton was good at it. He was good, but this slaughters him. Even in X-Men and Spider-man they had to make jokes about the costumes to explain why they looked so silly, but the bat didn’t look silly. It made sense. There was a purpose. He wasn’t a guy in tights. He had tools and armor. Fantastically done.

    Katie Holmes, who has rocketed down my list of celebs I’d like to schtup, wasn’t as bad as all that. I actually buy her as a young smart committed DA, and that’s fine. But yeah, had she been Harvey Dent, sweet. I guess Lando wasn’t available.

    I want Michael Caine to be my dad. I don’t have one, so I’d like it to be him. He nailed that character, and while I did keep hearig the delightful, “I’m relieved you’re home sir” in my head, I wouldn’t trade new alred for old at all.

    Bale was the man. He was properly huge enough to be batman, and did a great drunken posh bruce. Fucking perfect. his face I found a little distinctive when in mask, like he should have stayed in the shadows a bit more, but who cares, that’s old superhero complaint, like clark’s glasses, and you have to give them that conceit.

    The one-liners were a bit goofy, but c’mon, this is the guy who wrote Blade 1-3. He fucking stepped up.

    I can’t believe I didn’t know Qui-Gonn would do that. how did they keep that secret? By casting a relatively big foreign star in the role of Ra’s, that’s how. Fantastic move. Best movie secret since Empire. I had 6th sense spoiled for me, so it might have been better, but I’ll never know.

    Man that was fun.

  41. Oh oh oh!

    I forgot to mention, that elevated train around Gotham…look at the first page of Batman Year One, and tell me you still think it’s out of place.

  42. Wooo…!

    I feel like I have been bathed in warm, gooey, Batlove.

  43. Oh yeah! I have so many thoughts, I can’t remember them all.

    You know what they did better than anything? They showed how the death of his parents was fucking terrible, and it really messed him up. It was so sad and pathetic how his parents were killed, in a way that was much more awful than when Burton had them killed.

    I got a little choked up.

  44. no one cares about the old batman theme 🙁

  45. Well, if you’re creating a whole new world/mythos/continuity/etc. you should probably not repeat the music. Enough people were confused as it is.

    I think the only thematic element that has stayed constant from Adam West to Christian Bale has been the little rocket fire ont he back of the Batmobile, and that’s because it’s cool.

  46. I didn’t really pay attention to the music much. I noticed it did it’s job I guess, but you’re dead on about the ’89 theme being excellent. I have the CD score, and it’s fantastic.

    I noticed in the credits that there were 2 big name composers on the film. James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer. That’s unusual.

  47. The old theme gives me goosebumps everytime

  48. You’re right that the one thing that BATMAN had over BATMAN BEGINS was the music. But that music fit the more over-the-top, gothic tone that the Burton movie had. Elfman’s score would have been out of place in BATMAN BEGINS, methinks.

  49. now you’re just being contrary

  50. No, I’m not. Think about it. Elfman’s score was grandiose and sweeping in scale. BATMAN BEGINS was grittier movie more grounded in reality.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Elfman’s score.

  51. I was just kidding about you being contrary.

  52. No you weren’t!


  53. M: Oh look, this isn’t an argument.
    A: Yes it is.
    M: No it isn’t. It’s just contradiction.
    A: No it isn’t.
    M: It is!
    A: It is not.
    M: Look, you just contradicted me.
    A: I did not.
    M: Oh you did!!
    A: No, no, no.
    M: You did just then.
    A: Nonsense!
    M: Oh, this is futile!
    A: No it isn’t.
    M: I came here for a good argument.
    A: No you didn’t; no, you came here for an argument.
    M: An argument isn’t just contradiction.
    A: It can be.
    M: No it can’t. An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.
    A: No it isn’t.
    M: Yes it is! It’s not just contradiction.
    A: Look, if I argue with you, I must take up a contrary position.
    M: Yes, but that’s not just saying ‘No it isn’t.’
    A: Yes it is!
    M: No it isn’t!

    A: Yes it is!
    M: Argument is an intellectual process. Contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of any statement the other person makes.
    (short pause)
    A: No it isn’t.
    M: It is.
    A: Not at all.
    M: Now look.
    A: (Rings bell) Good Morning.
    M: What?
    A: That’s it. Good morning.
    M: I was just getting interested.
    A: Sorry, the five minutes is up.
    M: That was never five minutes!
    A: I’m afraid it was.
    M: It wasn’t.

  54. I almost forgot the greatness of the short, yet completely plausible explanation of how he got all the gear and bought it without being traceable.

  55. Hollywood Slow Despite $47M ‘Batman’ Debut

    By DAVID GERMAIN, AP Movie Writer 1 hour, 21 minutes ago

    LOS ANGELES – Batman was powerful enough to rule the box office, but the superhero was unable to pull Hollywood out of its worst slump in 20 years.

    “Batman Begins” debuted as the top movie with $46.9 million, while overall movie revenues skidded for the 17th-straight weekend, tying a slide in 1985 that had been the longest box-office decline since analysts began keeping detailed records on movie grosses.

    The top 12 movies took in $128.5 million, down 1.6 percent from the same weekend in 2004, according to studio estimates Sunday.

    The slump may be a sign that more people are seeing movies at home. An Associated Press-AOL poll last week found that 73 percent of adults prefer watching movies on DVD, videotape or pay-per-view rather than going to the theater.

    Studio executives blame the downturn on a comparatively weak lineup of movies this year and say it will take more time to determine if DVDs and other home-entertainment options are eroding theater business.

    “Certainly, we need to look at that, but I believe you can’t do it by looking at six months. I think you have to take a couple of years to look at it,” said Dan Fellman, head of distribution for Warner Bros., which released “Batman Begins.”

    “We’re still product-driven, and even though there were and will continue to be strong movies in the summer, I don’t think there have been enough of them.”

    Movie revenues this year are down 6.4 percent compared to 2004’s, according to box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations. Accounting for increased ticket prices, admissions are off 9 percent.

    “Batman Begins” bumped the previous weekend’s No. 1 film, “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” to second place with $27.3 million, raising its 10-day total to $98 million.

    The weekend’s only other new wide release, Hilary Duff’s “The Perfect Man,” opened with a weak $5.5 million, less than half the $13.6 million debut for the teen queen’s 2004 romance “A Cinderella Story.”

    Since opening Wednesday, “Batman Begins,” starring
    Christian Bale as the DC Comics hero in his early days, grossed $71.1 million. The cast also includes Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Katie Holmes and Gary Oldman.

    Comparisons to the previous four “Batman” movies, released from 1989 to 1997, are imprecise since they all opened on Friday and ticket prices have risen dramatically since. The earlier “Batman” flicks had opening weekends ranging from $40.5 million to $52.8 million.

    Warner Bros. expects “Batman Begins” to finish its first week with $85 million, compared to a range of $59 million to $77 million for the previous “Batman” movies in their first week.

    Distribution boss Fellman said “Batman Begins” opened strongly enough that he expects the studio will push ahead with a sequel.

  56. Movies have just sucked lately. This weekend we wanted to see a movie, and besides going to see Batman or Star Wars again, there was nothing. And I live in Los Angeles, the center or movie productions, so it’s not like there aren’t options. Instead we rented Mystic River, which was friggin great.

    When Batman, no matter how good it is, is your best film all year, you’ve got problems as an industry.

  57. We had the same problem. My brother, sister and I took our dad out for Father’s Day and we were bascially going to have to choose between BATMAN and SITH but neither one was showing at a convienent time so we chucked the movies altogether.

    Of course, I am *dying* to see BATMAN in IMAX.

  58. I think movies as a whole are getting better. Hollywood is now cashing in on independent directors and I love it. Look at batman.

    This for me, this is a great movie week. Howl’s Flying Castle is playing and so is Rock School.
    Has anyone seen Cinderella Man?

  59. oh and mystic river is FANTASTIC

  60. Cinderella Man was just like A Beautiful Mind, in that it had some great performances, but was a wee bit schmaltzy for me. Some like that, but it’s not my cup of tea. I’m not saying it was bad, just not terribly original or dynamic in my eyes.

    There will always be good indy cinema, but it just happened that this week, there wasn’t anything playing i wanted to see. Rock School, for example went away.

    You’re right about “indy” directors getting big franchises to direct and that being a good thing, but that to me is a bright spot on a horizon of Bret Ratners, chomping at the bit to be entirely standard and bland.

  61. You didn’t go see LAYER CAKE?

  62. I think the state of movies is similar to the state of Marvel in the early-to-mid 1990s. There is such a glut of garbage and it is all so over-hyped that it either eclipeses the smattering of quality stuff that is out there.

  63. LOTS LOTS LOTS to talk about so let’s get started:

    1. So Batman was amazing. Thought it was brilliant. Christian Bale was EXCELLENT.

    2. Conor’s comment, and I quote: ‘See, I found the whole “journey to Batman” theme to be really interesting. It was called BATMAN BEGINS, afterall. From people I have talked to who have seen the movie (and aren’t comic book readers), they really liked seeing how he got to be trained and where all the gadgets, etc. came from. It’s the origin movie – you really can’t get around the origin being the focus’ is completely SPOT ON! I was actually surprised that he was Batman for as much of the film as he was. I thought it would have been only the last 15mins or so and that the focus of the film would be on his journey to becoming Batman. I didn’t think there was going to be any sort of bad guys/crisis for him to rescue until the next film.

    My likes and dislikes:

    * My fav part was when batman pulled Falcone through the roof of the car and said ‘I’m Batman’ – nearly clapped.
    * Also loved the fighting on ice scene at beginning when Liam Neeson (dunno what to call him: Ducard/Ras Al ghul) was talking about ‘making yourself invisible’… it all started to click into place.
    * Gary Oldman – I love him at the best of times but it was so nice to see him in role where he isn’t a luncatic/terrorist/murderer/baddie and if what I read from other Batfans, he was good as Gordon?
    * Loved Alfred.
    * Gotham… thought it looked amazing!
    * The lining up of the next film with the Joker’s calling card was just SUPER!

    * Tom Wilkinson’s accent.
    * that Rachel found out he was Batman and just in general some of the lines that came out of her mouth were pretty cringe-worthy. But at least since they decided that they cannot be together while he is batman …she can piss off now and not be in the next one??
    * Scarecrow. Was genuinely scared! Didn’t like it. Is Cane a character from the comic books? is he likely to appear again? Or did rachel’s stun-gun thing really mean the end of him.. if so… that’s crap.

  64. I loved Tom Wilkinson’s accent. So silly and comic booky

  65. I agree – Tom Wilkinson’s accent worked for me, but then again it was really off-putting in the beginning. But I got used to it.

  66. over the weekend my opinions on Batman Begins has improved.

    I think that has something to do with reading many batman comics on a long plane ride.

    I’m going to go check the batman year one first page. speaking of year one, I didn’t realize how much Begins “borrowed” from it.

    as much as I would like Elfman’s score in Begins it wouldn’t quite fit. that being said the music was non existant to me. I could have used something a tiny tiny bit more heroic. maybe more like the Animated series which took elfman’s

    it doesn’t help that Elfman’s batman is one of the most memorable movie scores EVER.

  67. Oingo Boingo… who knew?

  68. I really need to see this on IMAX. I was thinking about that last night. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing. It’s not like I can wait for the DVD and catch it when it comes out. I have to get on the ball and experience Bataction on the IMAX before it is too late!!!

    I’ll never forgive myself if I miss out.

  69. I think I’m gonna be in the minority on this one, but I really want Katie Holmes to return for the sequel. There is so much that could be done with her character. She could be Harvey Dent’s love interest/fiancee, for instance. She could become a real character, instead of just another token female from these movies.

    She doesn’t need to be a big part anymore, but keeping her in the universe at least could pay off big down the line if they use her right.

    I can’t stop thinking/talking about this movie. Need to see it in IMAX.

  70. “I think I’m gonna be in the minority on this one, but I really want Katie Holmes to return for the sequel. There is so much that could be done with her character. She could be Harvey Dent’s love interest/fiancee, for instance. She could become a real character, instead of just another token female from these movies.”

    Ooooh… good idea!

    Do you like it more or less, Steve-o? Because you were kinda lukewarm on it previously.

  71. As much as I despise katie Holmes, bringing her back would be better than the rotating batgirlfriend.

    she could be brought back and then “killing joked”.


  72. I agree with Nick about the rotating Batgirlfriend.

    Also, I chuckled at “Killing Joked” and I feel sorta bad about it.

    Only sorta.

  73. Oh yeah, in my mind it has grown on me. My biggest complaint was the action scenes and lack of excitement. But it’s the quieter, more dramatic stuff that lingers….Rachel’s disappointment with Bruce at the “pool” scene and his reaction, Alfred telling Bruce why he “gives a damn,” Thomas Wayne proudly showing off the train system to his son, stuff like that.

    I think this movie has a real emotional/psychological weight to it that is unique to comic book movies. There’s a sense of morality running through it that doesn’t feel like cardboard.

    So I might be disappointed in Batman Begins as an action movie, but it’s really forming itself in my head as a great dramatic movie.

    So if I go see it a second time, and the action clicks, I will safely be able to say that I love it.


  75. He’s killing her career! Rotating Batgirlfriends, here we come – again (because it worked so well the first time)!


    Holmes Dropped from ‘Batman’ Sequel

    Christian Bale, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman have signed to star in a second Batman movie, but love interest Katie Holmes has been dropped. Movie bosses are thrilled with the response to Batman Begins – it took $46.9 million in its first weekend at the US box office – and have snapped up the film’s stars for a sequel. Bale as Batman was the first to put pen to paper, followed by Caine as butler Alfred and Freeman as Bruce Wayne’s business associate Lucius Fox. But Holmes won’t reprise her role as district attorney Rachel Dawes – reportedly because Warner Bros is angry her engagement to Tom Cruise has stolen media attention away from the movie. A source tells Pagesix.Com, “Everyone is in agreement that the movie’s strength is with Christian Bale, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman.” Adding of Holmes, “She won’t be in the sequel… the next romantic interest will be a much stronger actress. Warner is happy that people are now focusing on who’ll be playing the Joker rather than Katie and Tom.”

  76. Here’s a wild suggestion, but tell me what you think of it:

    Tom Cruise as the Joker.

    He’s got a maniacal grin, and he’s the right age, and he’s egotistical to pull it off. What do you say?

  77. Tom Cruise as The Joker…


  78. I pity the fool who has to play The Joker in the next one… Jack casts a wide shadow. They are going to have to make him super-creepy and 10x scarier than the Scarecrow to pull it off, methinks.

  79. He’ll have to be tall and skinny, and you’re right, incredibly menacing. Perhaps a character actor who’s really good, and you’re right, incredibly scary.

    I think the key is to do it different than Jack. But the question is, How?

  80. the Batman Begins review at pvp sums up my feelings pretty well.

    re: Joker

    the practical: Adrian Brody. He’s a little young but I think it could work.
    the fanboy: Mark Hammil. He’s alittle old, but has shown he gets the joker.
    the longshot: Crispin Glover. this would be awesome.

  81. The BATMAN BEGINS review at PvP is *terrible*. Scott Kurtz makes really good webcomics, but… that’s all I’ll say.

  82. Also, I thought the same thing: Mark Hamill.

    But I’m sure they want to wipe the Batslate totally clean and get someone unconnected the the character.

  83. I wouldn’t vote for Mark Hamill, because I wouldn’t want to take the chance of spoiling the work he’s done.

    Both Adrien Brody and Crispin Glover are good choices.

  84. This is the point where Ron comes in and says how much he loves Crispin Glover, when in reality he really just loves George McFly (and who doesn’t?).

  85. What else did he do that was great besides McFly? Nothing. Wait, I’ll look.

    Yeah, I got nothing.

    But that one role is worth many. I do agree he might be able to pull it off.

  86. Crispin was very interesting in Charlie’s Angels.

    He was good in Willard.

    I think Tom Cruise would make a good Joker…if he reaally got into it Magnolia style.

  87. Crispin Glover is a god

    that’s why he’s leading the poll on AICN for “Who should be the Joker”

    He would rule, realistic insanity

  88. He’s not at all scary, though.

    At least I’ve never seen him be scary.

  89. You don’t think he has scary in him? I think he definitely has the kind of scary needed for Nolan’s Joker.

    I mean look at this:

    and this:

    talk about scary

  90. I dunno… I get no sense of menace from him. I could be wrong, though.

  91. Weird does not equal scary unless it’s your relative.

  92. Or your cellmate.

  93. spoon

  94. I think my whole body just winced.

  95. I think Crispin Glover can definitely translate his weird into scary…I mean, isnt that just what the Joker is? Some weird guy who can makes things ultra scary?

    Jack wasn’t so scary…was he?

    Hell, I may be biased, but I think Crispin is a perfect fit

  96. Jack is scary. But his Joker was more clown than scary psychopath. What we were saying earlier was that probably the only way to escape Jack’s shadow was to go less the clown route and more the bowel-loosening terrifying route and I see nothing about Crispin that would make me think he’s got that quality about him. Does that mean he doesn’t have it? Absolutely not.

  97. Right, we’re thinking terrifying “Killing Joke” Joker, or “Dark Knight Returns” Joker. Cold, cold cold, and deeply insane, using the clown as a motif, rather than he is a clown.

    Jack did it scary, but clowny. A crazy guy with a gun. But underneath, that was the scary thing, he was just crazy.

    But what can make him terrifying, in a Hannibal Lechter sort of way is a person who is completely cognizant of the evil he does.

  98. I know we don’t like to spread rumors around here, especially totally and completely unsubstantiated ones, but…

    Sean Penn?


  99. Next week – it’ll get creamed by WAR OF THE CRAZY SCIENTOLOGISTS.

    ‘Batman Begins’ Wins Box Office Amid Slide

    By DAVID GERMAIN, AP Movie Writer 8 minutes ago

    LOS ANGELES – “Batman Begins” took in $26.8 million to remain the top movie for the second straight weekend, but it could not keep Hollywood from sinking to its longest modern box-office slump.

    Overall business tumbled despite a rush of familiar new titles

  100. I have an unrelated question for IFANBOY:

    I should know this, but I’m not much of a DC reader outside books like Kingdom Come and Dark Knight Returns.

    The new Sufjan Stevens record, Illinois, has a song about Superman. Why? I thought Smallville was in Kansas. I don’t know anything.

  101. Smallvile is set in Kansas, yes, but there is — I believe — an actual town called Smallville in Illinios. It’s a bit of a Superman mecca.

  102. leave it to Sufjan Stevens…

  103. The whole Sufjan Superman thing confused me, too, until I asked a Chicago friend about it.

    There is a small town named Metropolis in southern Illinois. Urban legend has it that this is where Superman’s Metropolis got its name. A huge Superman convention is held there every year.

  104. I saw BATMAN BEGINS on IMAX last week.

    Freakin’ awesome.