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Batman Begins: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack [Soundtrack]

Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard , Hans Zimmer , James Newton Howard Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 23.83
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Product Details

1. Vespertilio
2. Eptesicus
3. Myotis
4. Barbastella
5. Artibeus
6. Tadarida
7. Macrotus
8. Antrozous
9. Nycteris
10. Molossus
11. Corynorhinus
12. Lasiurus

Product Description


It's rare to see two marquee-name composers credited for a score, but perhaps two people were needed to come up with something that would stand up to the memory of Danny Elfman's work on 1989's Batman. Just as director Christopher Nolan's back-in-black approach is quite different from Tim Burton's phantasmagorical one, Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard's take doesn't bear much kinship to Elfman's. (You'd be hard-pressed to find any recognizable theme here, for instance.) Mostly the composers remain conservatively subtle, though coming up with the expected pounding on grandiose, action-movie worthy selections such as "Myotis" and "Antrozous" (no, the poetic-sounding track names aren't lifted from old Cocteau Twins records, but refer to various types of bats). Standout track "Tadarida" incorporates some of the distorted vocal effects associated with the Scarecrow's drug-induced nightmarish visions. Atmospheric to the point of evanescence sometimes, the individual tracks tend to meld into each other after a while. The sense of stylistic continuity helps establish an overall mood, but it's often hard to distinguish between shades of black. --Elisabeth Vincentelli

More from the Batcave:

Tim Burton's Batman on DVD

Batman: Year One Deluxe Edition , Frank Miller

Batman: The Animated Series, Volume One

Batman Begins

Batman Begins: The Official Movie Guide

Batman Original Motion Picture Score

Product Description

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure! June 12 2014
By Max
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
So excited when I finally listen after all the complications to have it. I was not disappointed after listen again and again because of one thing. The two sequels doesn't have a music like this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars powerfull emotional. Dec 19 2011
Format:Audio CD
Hanz Zimmer raised the bar again with this album of his ability to produce a powerfull and yet deep emotional at times..
An enjoyment to listen to again and again and never tires......
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Soundtrack, too bad it has been delisted July 2 2010
Format:Audio CD
This is where the reboot for Batman started. The use of these two fantastic composers is exceptional. Teaming James Newton Howard with Hans Zimmer is genius. The themes are evocative and appropriate to the characters and environments that Chris Nolan have created for us. These themes are built upon and extended in The Dark Knight.

It is too bad that this CD has been delisted in Canada hence why this reviewer had to purchase from a US retailer through Amazon. I can only guess that perhaps they are going to repackage it or refactor it for a set but who knows.

I recommend this to any fan of movie soundtracks.
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5.0 out of 5 stars BAT-TASTIC! Oct. 11 2009
Format:Audio CD
Some say this work is flat and unmemorable when compared to Danny Elfman's classic BATMAN music, but they couldn't be more wrong; the masterstroke of this BATMAN score was the decision to emulate the sound of bat wings, an ingenious approach that instantly established a unique mood and feel for director Christopher Nolan's take on the Caped Crusader.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  121 reviews
125 of 129 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Haunting, lovely and dark June 14 2005
By Aranion - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
First, put away your expectations that Zimmer and Howard try and top Elfman's iconic score from the 1989 film. They don't. Like the film itself, they opt for an entirely different focus and direction.

If you know any movie composers' styles at all, there are sections that a very Hans Zimmer-esque, as well as some passages that bear a resemblance to Howard's score for Unbreakable (a vastly under-rated film, IMNSHO).

But it's also not typical of either, and it does really resemble a horror film score more than anything. I don't mean that it's chock full of ear-bloodying sound effects, string screeches or cymbal crashes. It's very dark and murky, and much more about setting a tone than it is about creating a memorable theme or motif.

Don't mistake me; there are "sound effects" or strange musical intonations on the score; a recurring sound is a pounding, echoing percussion sound, like a thunderous heartbeat. It fits, and pulses darkly and pulls us into the music. But this is not a grating or garish sound, and it doesn't overwhelm the rest of the score.

The CD does feature moments of pounding action ("Molossus"), but they are scattered (or, more accurately, carefully placed) throughout the score. Similarly, there are stretches of achingly lovely strings ("Eptesicus"), evoking a deep sense of loss and sadness. Like Zimmer's score for Backdraft, though, this is really meant to be hear as one long piece.

I still recommend it for film score lovers, but it is much better as background or tone-setting music than it is for focused listening. Whether you're home reading the latest China Mieville novel or driving on a summer night as a storm moves in the from the west, it's good stuff.

BTW, the tracks are all named for various kinds of bats; it's a gutsy move on WB's part that helped me love the music. They really took pains to make this _different_.
41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent score for an excellent movie June 26 2005
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The score for Batman Begins is not the usual super-hero score. There is not a brassy bold fanfare like the original Batman movie or a main theme filled with wonder like Superman or Spider-Man. It is in many ways an atypical score. First, there are two composers and they are two of the best in Hollywood, Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard. One would think that putting these two together would reveal a score that is a mishmash, but the composers do a fine job complimenting one another. The score that they produce is dark, action packed and quietly poignant. I totally enjoyed it. I would certainly have to rate it among my favorite super-hero scores and among the best of the recent scores in the last couple of years. Since I got it about less than a week ago, I have listened to it 10 times, and each time I have enjoyed more of it. Batman has been reborn both visually and musically. I hope the next movie keeps the two together.
40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zimer and Howard create a stunning and dark soundtrack (revised) Jan. 8 2006
By P. Hardy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Anyone whose seen Batman Begins probably didn't notice the score in the background that much until the movie's credits. It is there that I desired to get the score for this outstanding film (Ironically before the movie). That said, Hans Zimer and James Newton Howard created a stunning score that is worthy of anyone's collection of scores. The music ranges from silent, mournful, terrifying, and grippingly full of pulsating action with most of the tracks that play the Begins theme with such strength its hard not to become giddy over the mere hint of it. There are 12 tracks in total. All them quite lengthy in their own right and never sound as though they've been cut short for the soundtrack (much like my favorite soundtracks "Fellowship of the ring" - "The Two Towers" - and "The Return of The King."

Howard Shore's score is simply amazing as a stand alone, even after the film is over. The fact that the best of this score played in the movies weren't included in the soundtrack as well bothered me). Though the only gripe I have and its a numb one, is that they didn't include the end titles theme from the end of the movie; It showcased some of the best filler music in the film (excluding the cue used when Batman struggles to get aboard the train his father built to stop Ra's). The sound affects add atmosphere to the already creepy soundtracks that reminded me of Arkham and the Scarecrow. However, its hard to tell what track played in a particular scene due to the technical bat-named tracks (and the reason as described above), which isn't a bad thing. I mean it certainly is better than "Rachel in Arkham" or "Batman Battles Ra's al Ghul" if you know what I mean. So the track names have me guessing which ones I was listening to since I don't have them memorized in my head that well. Speaking of tracks:

(1). Vespertilio - The introduction of the film as well as the soundtrack. A nice starting to begin with that slowly eases into the theme of the song that will be the most heard of in the soundtrack aside from sweet melodic theme used to indicate Bruce's memories, Rachel, or his parents. It really gives you a sense of determination in Bruce Wayne (in my opinion) and what he readies himself to do for Gotham. 5/5

(2). Eptesicus - Bruce and the aftermath of his incident in the well and another assortment of melancholy moments in the film. As mentioned before, this is a beautifully composed melody that sends a sort of reminiscent feeling through me. The best part of Eptesicus is when the Begins theme rises slowly in volume and doesn't cease to do so until the end of the track. - 5/5

(3). Myotis - My second absolute favorite track on the soundtrack. You literally can illustrate the scene in your mind in which Bruce denies his right to join the league of shadows by refusing to execute the farmer that became the murderer. With a slow and ominous start of things to come, once Myotis throws you into its action theme (in its entirety), its hard to keep from pressing the 'repeat' button just hear it again. In spite of the musical breaks between the action that shifts to different rift, Myotis is the best action track next to "Molossus." - 5/5

(4). Barbastella - Barbastella is relatively long in feeling for me, so I do no know where it ends of where it begins. I enjoy it nevertheless. This track empathizes on the angsty and slightly vocalized theme of Bruce's parent's death in the alley at the beginning and his short time spent at Gotham P.D. with fellow police officer Jim Gordon. The theme kicks in once again, but this time with much more passion and strength behind it. From there the more darker tone of Batman Begins kicks in. I enjoyed this one overall. - 4/5

(5). Artibeus - Introduction to Batman's full costumed appearance and the fall of Carmine Falcone. Unwittingly this track made me jump in fright with the beat of the sound affects which overpowered the sparse music one some notes. It falls into the dramatic melody once again when the sound effects are said and done. Its a nicely crafted track for the most part, but it simply wets your tongue for the tracks following after it. - 3/5

(6). Tadarida - I basically dubbed this the "Scarecrow theme," due to the scene where Batman is caught off guard by Jonathan crane and is gassed by the toxin that causes delirium of sorts. The beginning starts off with another sweet and sorrowful melody before falling into the darker tone set. The sound effects are heavily empathized in this track in a second before the music kicks back in and recreates the atmosphere of that scene through your speakers. - 5/5

(7). Macrotus - This track sounds like a simple assortment cues from scenes to which I cannot remember clearly. Its over seven minutes long in length, the cellos used in this track intensify with volume with every note taken. The theme of Bruce's memories of his parents and Rachel plays out the strongest in "Macrotus." The league of shadows scenes is heard afterward (when Bruce faces his second to last test: facing his fears). - 5/5

(8). Antrozous - "Antrozous" is a warm up to the two tracks after it. The action theme roars to life at the beginning of the track, with a slow paced beginning (Bruce reveals himself to Rachel) before diving head first into the pumping theme that ends far too quickly in my opinion, boiling down to slight calm. - 4/5

(9). Nycteris - Introduction to Lucius Fox and Bruce Wayne's meeting. This track carries a sort of espionage type tune at the beginning that more than a real treat to listen to. - 4/5

(10). Molossus - My first absolute favorite track on the Batman Begins soundtrack. For the entire four plus minutes it's nothing much non-stop pulsating action orchestrated wonderfully by Zimer and Howard. Carries tunes of the climax of the film and the TUMBLER (sighs) scene, it simply sends excited chills down my spine everytime I hear it. - 5/5

(11). Corynorhinus - This is basically prelude to the end of Batman Begins, the memory/Rachel and Bruce theme can be heard with a major change to it and the best part of the end when Batman converses with Jim Gordon on the rooftop is also included in this track. Its easily my third favorite track on the CD. - 5/5

(12). Lasiurus - I'm not really sure what to say about "Lasiurus," in all honesty. Its not my favorite track and the cellos can be a bit overpowering and loud (even with the volume down a bit) at times on the speaks of the radio. Of course that's not say that its a horrible track, on the contrary. There are stronger emotionally moving moments in this track than the whole CD put together. But the last track is rather hard to identify thus, making it a half-and-half situation in some cases. On a final note "Larisurus" ends repeating the very introduction and Batman Introduction to Faclone aftermath in such a cool way, that I'm glad it ends on such a note.

All in all, "Batman Begins" is an excellent buy for those looking for a major change in the Superhero score department. Its defiantly not fore die-hard Elfman(?) fans looking for the overused Batman theme from the previous two original movies directed by Burton and the animated series. Batman Begins It certainly wouldn't have you questioning your spent money like "Spier-Man/2", "X2" (I recommend buying Michael Kamen's "X-Men" score over that) "Fantastic Four" or "Superman" would. ----- [a 5 out of 5]
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Batman Returns! June 14 2005
By Andres Segovia - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The steady climbing string music in the first teaser trailer was definitely not Danny Elfman but unmistakably "Batman." James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer have tried to collaborate on a film but scheduling issues prevented them from doing so.

Howard, still fresh off the success of The Village, provides the emotional setting of the film capturing Bruce Wayne's feelings of loneliness and anger. Zimmer, mostly known for his action scores, provides the - what else? - action cues for the film and, like always, he does not disappoint. Gone from the score are the main Batman Theme and comical sounds of the previous scores. This score is dark, creepy, action-packed and sometimes subtle.

"Vespertilio" is the opening track containing the music during the opening logos of the film. The sound effects shifts from one channel speaker to the other almost giving a "bat-flapping" feeling to it.

Throughout various tracks Howard's and Zimmer's talents shift between one another almost seamlessly giving the score a "solo composer" voice feel to it.

My personal favorite track is "Molossus". It starts with a bang of percussion, continues pounding for a while before it is joined by the rest of the "ensemble." The brass begins the accompaniment followed by the strings further adding to the tension before the main theme begins. After the main theme makes its appearance, the action continues with great underscore accompaniment in Hans Zimmer fashion.

A good example of a subtle track is "Corynorhinus". It's mainly played by a solo piano accompanied by a "string ensemble."

Overall, this album is a great fit to the latest Batman movie. This soundtrack definitely belongs next to the Batman and Batman Returns albums on your shelf. At a little over an hour long, there's plenty of music to go around. You will not be let down . . . unless you wanted an Elfman score. Keep in mind this is mainly an ELECTRONIC score not an orchestral score.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Score That Fits Like a Keenly Designed Black Glove June 21 2005
By G M. Stathis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The suggestion that Hans Zimmer would join James Newton Howard in a new musical treatment of the Batman saga in "Batman Begins" has had a wide variety of film buffs on the edge of their seats for months. The good news is that most of them are quite pleased with the music and the film. Now some less that ecstatic comments. There have already been complaints that there is no singular "Batman Theme" in the Danny Elfman tradition; and that is partially true. And some comments have, expectedly, drawn comparisons to earlier scores: "King Arthur" for Zimmer, and "Unbreakable" for Howard; and there some similarities at times. First off, there are an abundance of themes here, but they are somewhat subtle. The composers rely a good deal on motifs and atmospherics, but there are themes here as well. There is a beautiful soft theme that reflects on a life lost, and the possibilty that it may yet be saved in a romantic angle. And there is a "Batman theme" of sorts here, although it is more of a signature that comes with the flurry of dark bat wings...but it is there and it is dramatic, distinctive, and quite memorable. Overall, the music fits this film like specially designed black glove. Sure Zimmer has taken some things from "King Arthur" and Howard's softer themes do bring "Unbreakable" to mind, but is that at all bad? Too much of this score is original to dwell on these comparisons though. And the music works as a soundtrack as well. The album is nicely produced by Warners, but there is one bit that is too clever by half...the titling of the cues with the Latin names of bat species is indeed clever, but it tells us nothing about the particular scenes in focus. This has already been a Spring and Summer of film music treats, and the score for "Batman Begins" by James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer is a worthy part of it.
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