12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2009
The movie itself: Batman Begins is different from the Batman movies previously made, Nolan's Batman is darker, quieter and in my opinion closer to the comic book hero. Batman Begins gives you a much better understanding of the two sides of Bruce Wayne/Batman character than previously portrayed and also gives us a different insight as to what Batman thinks and feels like when he is not Batman and what he does as Batman sometimes doesn't agree with his principles but he does it to save the wonderful city his father helped build. Christian Bale is perfect as Batman, some have complained about the voice transition but in my opinion its great, since he keeps his identity completely secret unlike Spidey or Iron Mans of the movies who tell the entire world about who they are and collect awards.
The Video: Presented in 2:40 widescreen and 1080p/VC-1 video the transfer is breathtaking. Colours are very rich & vivid. The picture appears to be completely saturated even in the darker shots (yes there are a lot of them, this is a REAL Batman movie after all). I have seen this movie on DVD as well, and this Blu-Ray transfer is a HUGE improvement over the SD-DVD version. The transfer is so pristine that it can also be a demo disk for your 1080p sets.
The Audio: English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Surround track (48kHz/16-bit) included is a high quality track which offers superb mixing and full use of rear channels. The ice scene with Liam Neeson & Christian Bale, and the Highway car chase is where you can really feel the thump. No complains, Warner did an amazing job porting this soundtrack and utilizing BD's high disc capacity.
Final Words: Batman Begins is a must see movie, almost everyone on this planet has seen its sequel The Dark Knight at least twice but some I know haven't seen this one. To those, I only have this to say, its a must see Prequel and there are moments when you feel that between the two this probably takes the cake (at least from a character development and storytelling point of view). Nolan's Batman starts his adventure here, and believe me he's here to stay for years to come (in our libraries). Highly recommended.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2006
If you are a hard core batman fan of the originals, you may not like this movie, much like some of the previous reviewers said. However, as a movie itself Batman Begins is brilliant. It's dark and serious, it gets down to why Batman really is Batman. The Burton movies were obviously supposed to have a very comic book feel to them but his movie is completely different. You actually believe that Batman could exist, and that he really is justified in doing what he believes in. There is a lot more emotion in this movie, and some great acting by the cast. When it comes down to it, I rate this movie one of the best of the year and highly recommend it.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 2007
"Batman Begins" brings an interest back to the DC character, not seen since the original. Christian Bale turns out to be a good choice for a much darker Batman. This movie focuses more on Bruce Wayne, then on his super hero alter ego. Unlike the smooth Bruce Wayne of past movies who had endless amounts of charm and charisma, this Bruce Wayne is a much more realistic person with flaws and fears. The more flashy and over the top fight scenes have been toned down, for this dark more edgy Batman movie. Liam Neeson as Henri Ducard, provides the most interesting Batman villain since Jack Nicholson's Joker. Other past villains like Arnold Schwarzenegger's Ice Man have been much less memorable. Neeson's jaded character has more depth to it. The movie's biggest weakness is the relationship between Bruce Wayne and Katie Holme's Assistant D.A. character Rachel Dawes. The dialogue between the two characters is uninspired and somewhat boring. Morgan Freeman plays Lucius Fox, a friend of Bruce Wayne. He helps Bruce Wayne get access to Wayne Enterprise's many inventions. Freeman is solid in this role as in most everything he is in. Michael Caine is also solid as Alfred the Butler. Alfred has always been more than just a butler, but acts as Bruce Wayne's advisor. Caine plays the part of the humble and wise servant very well.
Previous performances by George Clooney and Val Kilmer as Batman felt more like copies of Michael Keeton's original performance. It seemed as though they were trying to replicate the success of the original by following the same formula. That forumlaic approach combined with characters like Robin and BatGirl, did nothing to add to the series. This movie did a better job of giving its characters some substance and as a result more intrique. This time around, a less perfect Batman, makes for a much better movie.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2009
Batman Begins is the best Batman movie ever made. The back story being revealed about this superhero is told really well and is very unique and interesting. Batman being a human who has trained to hone his own abilities is a testiment to the power we possess if we choose to work hard to develop that power and use it for the greater good.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2005
Everthing about this film is great. I saw it in the theatre and I've watched it almost everyday since I've picked up the DVD. Great story, direction, acting and photography. Christian Bale is the best Batman to date.
In my opinion it was the best film of 2005. And trust me I don't usually give much praise to modern North American films let alone comic book films.
I have very high expectations for the sequel to this film. Whenever that may be, I anxiously await.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2012
I own 'Batman Begins' on DVD, Blu-ray and now this giftset which will remain unopened for some time. It's neat. The front picture is actually holographic, it comes with post cards,movie tickets to see 'The Dark Knight' in theaters (now useless, obviously), a 16 page comic book of the prologue of 'The Dark Knight' and an additional 32 page booklet of storyboards, script and stills from the movie! This is the beginning of what is one of the greatest trilogies ever created!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2005
Batman Begins is the best comic book flick I've ever seen. It may also be the best movie I've seen in well over a year. If there was any justice Batman Begins would fetch an Oscar nomination or two.
This is one of the best movies where a comic book character has been brought to the screen. The last such movie that I watched was a Superman and I grew very bored with the back-and-forth punching between Superman and his adversary. The screen was full of things being smashed up and all for little additional purpose.
However, while there is some punch-up fighting in this movie, the focus was on the emotional components that went into the development of the main character, where Bruce Wayne became Batman. The gadgets are better than Bond and Morgan Freeman is superb as the Q-equivalent. Gotham City is descending into anarchy and there seems to be only a few good people left. Hence, there is a desperate need for the Batman.
It is a gritty tale of emotional and physical challenges where the viewer is caught up in the tension between Bruce Wayne and Batman, the role of Alfred, played superbly by Michael Caine and injecting just the right amount of humor. There is also a love interest and powerful villains, including one that is only hinted at.
The Batman movie sequence started strong but then grew stale and the last one was almost a self-parody rather than a drama. Even though it is a remake of a story done several times in several formats, the action remains gripping and it is easy to conjure up sympathy for the young Bruce Wayne.
We are in a golden age of comic book movies right now -- and at least some of the credit for that goes to Christopher Nolan.
This talented director was singlehandedly responsible for bringing Batman back onto movie screens, years after Joel Schumacher destroyed the franchise. "Batman Begins" explores the formation of the Dark Knight of Gotham, following Bruce Wayne as he begins a personal journey leading him to Batmanhood. Even people who aren't into capes and tights can appreciate this story.
After his parents' murderer is paroled, young bazillionaire Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) vanishes on an aimless journey across the world. He's taken under the wing of the mysterious Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson), who offers to train him to be a member of the League of Shadows. But when Bruce learns that the League plans to annihilate his home city of Gotham, he lashes out and destroys the League's base. Oops.
When he returns home, he finds that Gotham has become rotten to the core with mobs, crooked cops and a fear-inducing shrink (Cillian Murphy). Using the company's discarded prototypes, Bruce fashions an armored bodysuit and tanklike vehicle, and uses them to fight crime wherever he finds it. But the League still has plans to destroy Gotham, and the only one who can stop them is Batman.
Most directors would have given this movie a distinctly comic-book, slick pop-culture feel. But no matter how hard you search, there's not a single hint in "Batman Begins" that anything kitschy or campy came before it, or that it was originally a comic book. Instead Christopher Nolan creates a movie as dark, tightly-wound and intense as Batman himself.
But since this is a comic-book movie, Nolan peppers the story with kinetic action, high-speed chases and massive explosions, as well as the grim specter of the League hanging over the entire city. The dialogue is drizzled with dry humor ("Does it come in black?" Bruce asks with a big smile after trying out the proto-Batmobile), mostly to temper the overhanging sense of horror and apprehension.
The most striking part of this movie is Nolan's delving into morality, and the darker side of human nature. We see that Gotham has a rottennness in its heart, but Bruce won't harm people even if they are corrupt and evil -- he might not save you, but he won't kill you.
Christian Bale is simply brilliant as Bruce Wayne/Batman -- sure, his growly voice can get a bit silly at times, but he perfectly conveys the strength, pain and determination of a man who will sacrifice everything to save others. And he's ringed with a bunch of other great performances, particularly by the always-awesome Michael Caine as the faithful Wayne butler Alfred, and Morgan Freedman as the supplier of weird Wayne tech.
There are also some wonderful villain performances. Liam Neeson exudes haughty moralistic chilliness as Ducard, and Cillian Murphy's angel face and giant eyes make his psychosis even creepier.
The one problem: Rachel Dawes. Rachel is a sour, miserable character who seems to enjoy toying with Bruce's affections and emotions (she tries to shame him for wanting revenge against HIS PARENTS' KILLER). And Katie Holmes is shockingly bad in the role as well -- this pouty, baby-voiced girl is supposed to be a hard-nosed assistant DA? Suuuuuuurrreee.
"Batman Begins" is a powerful, gritty reboot of the whole Batman mythos -- and except for the horrendous female lead, it's an absolute masterpiece. Definitely see this, even if you aren't into superheroes.
on January 18, 2010
Bruce Wayne's parents are brutally murdered right before his eyes. He is only eight years old. His father holds his hand. His mother lay in her own blood beside them. His father's dying words: "Don't be afraid."
Vowing vengeance, Bruce travels the world, learning all that he can to become a one-man army against crime. He leaves behind the life of a billionaire playboy and instead seeks to find the man rooted in pain and anger.
Trained by a man named Ducard, a representative of Ra's Al Ghul, Bruce learns how to harness his rage and use it to exact vengeance on those, like the man who killed his parents, who would dare break the law.
But to do so as Bruce Wayne would only put those he cares about in danger and would not be the symbol required to get the job done, and so is born . . . the Batman.
Drugs are secretly being pumped into Gotham City's waterways, the underground crime circuit somehow connected to a mysterious figure overseas who has big plans for Gotham. No one knows his face . . . until it's too late.
Jonathan Crane, aka the Scarecrow, uses his position in Arkham Asylum to get the inmates gathered for what's to come, and when the moment finally arrives, all hell breaks loose on Gotham's streets.
The night grows dim, the knight grows dark.
Batman is born.
This flick was amazing.
After the disaster that was Batman & Robin, I was so scared about how this would turn out. Sure, the trailers looked cool, dark, and edgy, but studios always put the best bits in the trailers anyway. All we had were hopes and good-sounding quotes from those involved in the film's production.
And, man, did they deliver!
This stuff was real. Real-real. Batman Begins was grounded in reality in a way I hadn't seen since X-men. This stuff could really happen. It was that tone that brought a level of seriousness to the movie that the other bat-flicks--except Batman in 1989--didn't have. This wasn't a superhero movie, but a story about a man lost in rage, darkness and needing a way out. It was about the very real contrast between revenge and justice, and making right what once went so terribly wrong.
It's a story about redemption, love, and fighting to protect strangers in a city where crime, filth and evil are the everyday norm.
Christian Bale is Batman. Period. When the mask was on, you could tell Bruce was channeling pure rage and distaste for evil, focusing all that anger on the task before him. When the mask was off, he was the Bruce Wayne who was a spoiled rich boy, dumb, and no one took seriously. Excellent duality.
Katie Holmes as Bruce's childhood friend/love interest, Rachel Dawes, was a good thing. The other bat-movies always had a girlfriend for him. Though their was romantic interest here, it was rooted in friendship, which was a nice change.
Michael Caine as Alfred--brilliant. He was your loving father-figure, yet was stern with Bruce when the need arose, and even got behind him when Bruce told him his grand plan for saving Gotham. Only the love of a friend would allow such a thing: to believe in an ideal and not necessarily the method.
Cillian Murphy was downright creepy as Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow. I only knew him from 28 Days Later so wasn't sure how he'd play this. Let's just say I was happy.
Liam Neeson as Ducard/Ra's Al Ghul was all right. As Ducard, sure, made sense. He did a great job as Bruce's mentor. The two were the same at heart. Just chose different paths. As Ra's--that twist didn't surprise me (solely because I stumbled upon the script online before I saw the actual movie), but it did surprise me in the sense that Liam Neeson will always be Qui-Gon Jinn to me. It was hard to see him as a bad guy.
Gary Oldman is James Gordon. He looked the part, acted the part, and I fully sympathized with him being pretty much the only good cop in a bad town.
Batman Begins is the quintessential bat-film.
Very recommended. Ten times over.