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I would just like to point out that the elder Wayne's much-vaunted altruistic achievement, the public train, is destroyed by his son at the end of the movie in the pursuit of actual ideals, not a quick-fix "patch" on a screwed-up society. Go Bruce! :)

There was also a line in there somewhere that Wayne's altruism was bankrupting the company.

Edited by Captain Nate
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I just came from seeing "Batman Begins", and I have to say, although I wasn't suprised by what I say, I was disappointed (oddly enough). I disagree with the reviews put forth so far. I thought that Liam Nielson's part in the begininning got me excited for the movie, but later when he ends up being the villian, it negated anything good he might have said (in the eyes of the viewer, that is). The fact of the matter is that we are given a false alternative, a package deal in the movie - either we stand for moral absolutes (and become Puritanical zealots) or we show compassion for villany (thereby upholding a selfless idea of "innate good"). The movie, although stylistically done well, was philosophically very convoluted. The original Batman (the version that appeared in the "Detective Comics" series) was what I was hoping for, but instead we are given Wayne Enterprises - selfless philantropist and "tireless helper of the unfortuante". (Remember, the railway they bought?)

They were private individuals, they have the right to give to whatever philanthopy they choose. It is THEIR money. If the Waynes' want to donate a train to the city, I see no moral problem in that. It would be much more moral than the city taxing the Waynes' and then building a much worse rail.

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They were private individuals, they have the right to give to whatever philanthopy they choose. It is THEIR money. If the Waynes' want to donate a train to the city, I see no moral problem in that. It would be much more moral than the city taxing the Waynes' and then building a much worse rail.

I agree. But what was stressed in the movie was not that they donated the train for selfish reasons (which would be proper), but rather for selfless reasons. If you read my previous posts, you'll find instances in the movie which support that.

FYI - I did, however, recant the majority of the grievances I had put forth in that post. I would give the movie a strong ***, possibly a *** (1/2).

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Having just seen the movie here are a few things that irked me:

Christian Bales's lisp almost drove me insane. This was exacerbated when he tried to deliver dramatic dialogue ie. interrogation of Harvey Bullock (?) while hanging from a grappling hook. I was actually laughing

Katie Holmes' character Rachel Dawes was completely invented for the movie, and although Batman has had love interests, it was unnecessary for her to be one of them.

The heel transmiter Batman had in his boot was ridiculous - it summoned hundreds of bats to swarm the police, where did they come from? - totally unrealistic.

Why was Batman dumbed down? Batman is supposed to be an intellectual Superhero, not just a thug busting ninja. The movie completely overlooked the fact that he was supposed to be a master detective. He is also supposed to be a scientist as well - he shouldn't need Morgan Freeman to whip up an antidote - he should have been able to do it himself.

The Batmobile was, while functional, not aesthetically pleasing and was quite an eyesore. I guess when you have to take on the entire police force you need more power.

Bruce Wayne was never that uninvolved with his company, and neither was his father. He was always the CEO of Wayne Enterprises in the comics, and again, would not have to give control to Morgan Freeman.

Ra's Al Ghul was completely mis-represented in the movie - all they did was keep the name. His attractive daughter (a legitimate Batman love interest) did not make a cameo either. I am pretty sure that Batman was never trained by the League of Shadows or Al Ghul, although it has been a while.

Overall I would say this was an average film, but dissapointed the Batman fan in me. The directing was bad, as the action sequences, as have been mentioned, were unintelligible. The beginning of the movie started abruptly and had to resort to numerous flashbacks to understand the plot - I would have personally appreciated a more linear plot. Certain areas (I can't remember what exactly) weren't stressed enough and some were overstressed.

Grade: C

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But why is the standard of judging a movie whether or not it religiously follows the comic books? What if the ideas contained in the comics book suck, and the directors cherry picked the best ones and presented us with a good movie based on objective standards? I think perhaps you ruined the experience for yourself by expecting it to be a recanting of Batman scripture.

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But why is the standard of judging a movie whether or not it religiously follows the comic books?  What if the ideas contained in the comics book suck, and the directors cherry picked the best ones and presented us with a good movie based on objective standards?

First of all, I like the things I mentioned in my post for objective standards as well -and by the way, the comics did not suck (how specific!)

My post addressed alot of aesthetic flaws I found in the movie - this has nothing to do with the comics necessarily.

I find the representation of Batman as an intelligent, detective/scientist superhero, using his mind to solve problems, as one the things they should have "cherry picked" to add to the movie - not just "street fighter batman in his tank".

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Well, I know nothing about the comics, and I thoroughly enjoyed the movie for all the reasons I've posted in this thread. I could care less what the comics depict Batman as.

On the character qualities you expected from Batman (based on the comics): Was the Batman depicted in Begins not heroic? Was he a dolt? Was he a thug? Who judges a movie primarily based on the lisp of an actor and on the kind of car he drives and on the believability of his gadgets and on whether or not he's the spiting image of the character written about in comics (without regard to the actual quality of character the character in the movie possesses)? Why not judge a movie based on the ideological content too? Why not judge a movie based on the movie?

Most of your complaints are based on what you expected Batman to be based on your comic-book readings, which perhaps blinded you to what Batman was in Begins. Let go of the scripture, brother, and try to look at Begins as a stand-alone movie. (Sarcasm intended here)

Perhaps in your judgement the movie failed to depict Batman as he's depicted in the comics, but is the movie itself, without regard to the comics, good?

[Edit: Edited slightly to make clear that a particular remark was intended to be sarcastic. - Felipe]

Edited by Felipe
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Let go of the scripture, brother, and try to look at Begins as a stand-alone movie.

Perhaps in your judgement the movie failed to depict Batman as he's depicted in the comics, but is the movie itself, without regard to the comics, good?

Since the movie is about Batman, a character who was developed and originated in comic books it is somewhat difficult to seperate Batman from Batman.

As for the lisp, some things can just ruin a movie (I'm kidding), but it still annoyed me.

As for the believability of gadgets, well, the "summoning of the bats" thing was somewhat funny, but was a horrible idea on the writers' part.

Another point I just thought of: in the beginning of the movie when Bruce was in jail - what was he doing? Before joining the League of Shadows, was he just randomly going around stopping criminals? What was his purpose?

As a stand alone movie it was enjoyable, and its idealogical premises and themes were thought provoking and depicted engagingly. But it was annoying to go to a movie, having pictured and admired one Batman for years, to be confronted with another one. I invariably enjoy movies better when they aren't based on a book that I have read, for the same reason. The reason you enjoyed the movie more than I did is because you have no preconceptions of a higher quality Batman to compare to this incarnation.

It's simple - would you enjoy a bastardized film of The Fountainhead, which perhaps enjoyable by itself, subtly twists and distorts "the scripture"?

As an alternative to the comics, there was a cartoon series called "Batman: The Animated Series" which was on in the 90's, and would provide a good comparison to this new movie. If you can find it, watch a few episodes and you can see the difference.

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I thought of that too, about how I would feel if Atlas were bastardized. But this is not a valid comparison, because Batman is nothing like Atlas (from what I scarcely know of the comic book series, anyway). Either way, I wouldn't be torn in two if a remake of Atlas was not done exactly as Atlas, so long as the essence of the novel was expressed. I wouldn't nit-pic, say, if Hank wasn't driving his sleek black convertable, or if Dagny was blond instead. C'mon, I'd be able to separate the movie from the novel. Alternatively, if the remake depicted a good but different essence, I would still be able to like the movie.

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Christian Bales's lisp almost drove me insane. This was exacerbated when he tried to deliver dramatic dialogue ie. interrogation of Harvey Bullock (?) while hanging from a grappling hook. I was actually laughing

Phillistine!

You know, I didn't even notice? Maybe because the theater was ice-cold and the sound was so loud I could FEEL it more than HEAR it. Get some popcorn and watching a movie is a total sensory immersion. :dough:

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G'day everyone. Just stumbled across this forum in the throes of ennui and was absolutely staggered at the level of intellectual happenings. Anyways, as a start off:

The heel transmiter Batman had in his boot was ridiculous - it summoned hundreds of bats to swarm the police, where did they come from? - totally unrealistic.

Sonar. I thought it was a nice touch, and augmented Batman's mysticism.

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I thought of that too, about how I would feel if Atlas were bastardized.  But this is not a valid comparison, because Batman is nothing like Atlas  (from what I scarcely know of the comic book series, anyway).  Either way, I wouldn't be torn in two if a remake of Atlas was not done exactly as Atlas, so long as the essence of the novel was expressed.  I wouldn't nit-pic, say, if Hank wasn't driving his sleek black convertable, or if Dagny was blond instead.  C'mon, I'd be able to separate the movie from the novel.  Alternatively, if the remake depicted a good but different essence, I would still be able to like the movie.

If changes in the movie are done in order to better translate to film, and the HEART of the character remains, I can accept that. But if changes are made for the sake of change, regardless of the quality of the movie, its just uneccessary AND disappointing if you want to see a somewhat accurate translation!

That said, I liked Batman. I think the changes made are minor and acceptable. I thought the same for X-Men, Spider-Man and somewhat the same for Hulk, but that movie wasn't nearly as good as it SHOULD have been.

Edited by Captain Nate
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I really liked the movie as a whole, but I thought the fight scenes were very badly done.

The fights were basically a super fast slide show of disjointed images. It was like the directors couldn't find a good choreographer, and so they decided that if the movie got really loud and they flickered fighting images across the screen fast enough that it would seem like they had done it well.

I was rather suprised, because this is an action movie.

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After seeing a couple criticisms of the fight scenes, I think I will speak up as the dissenter. I liked them!

Tons of movies show the blow-by-blow, the flashy kicks, the wire-working jumps and flips. I see the same stuff with variations in every action movie.

I think it played well that Batman fought in blurry, flurry of combat. His character (in the movie) was ninja trained. The only way you can take on that many people is to move quickly. This wasn't some action or martial arts movie where each attacker comes at him as if on queue just after he finished the last guy. They swarmed him like it would happen in real life, and he kicked their collective behinds with blinding speed and precision.

Gone are the days of POW! KABAM!! ZOWIE!!

[Grammar correction - RC]

Edited by RationalCop
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I didn't notice Batman's lisp either. I also thought the fight scenes were hard to follow. I couldn't figure out why Rachel Dawes wouldn't like Bruce Wayne after figuring out he was Batman.

I also liked the quote "I won't kill you, but I don't have to save you." I thought it sounded like something John Galt would say.

In total, I really enjoyed this movie, and look forward to the next one!

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I went to go and see Batman Begins again last night, and I really came to admire it. I believe that my initial assessment wasn't well thought through; I was so concerned with a number of peripheral issues (altruism of Thomas Wayne, for instance) that I missed the crucial and heroic nature of the movie. I hope that the threads of altruism will not become larger in the next movie; as it often does. (Remember 24, Season 1?)

I agree with Felippe that adherence to the comics in it of itself has no meaning; but I think that the original comics, made by Bob Cane (when Batman was still published under Detective Comics) were brilliant.

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dang man, talk about seeing the glass half-empty. This is the way I saw the things which you despised

Christian Bales's lisp almost drove me insane. This was exacerbated when he tried to deliver dramatic dialogue ie. interrogation of Harvey Bullock (?) while hanging from a grappling hook. I was actually laughing

I am going to second the notion that I didn't notice any lisp. I thought Bale's acting was spot on, and he gave a gave a good baritone roar when he needed too.

all in all, the best Batman actor yet. Keaton, Kilmer, and Clooney well, they aren't bad actors, but they were just too skinny. comic book batman is a big mountain of muscle. Bale was just ripped enough to look badass in the suit.

speaking of the suit, am I the only person who was wholly relieved that the batsuit didn't have nipples? that drove me up the wall in the last two blasphemies that called themselves Batman movies.

Katie Holmes' character Rachel Dawes was completely invented for the movie, and although Batman has had love interests, it was unnecessary for her to be one of them.

It's a plot device. You'd be hardpressed to find an action movie nowadays without a prominent female character. Besides, it's not like that detracts from the original comic series.

The heel transmiter Batman had in his boot was ridiculous - it summoned hundreds of bats to swarm the police, where did they come from? - totally unrealistic.

as ridiculous as a man running around dressed up like a bat fighting crime? If you are going to accept certain metaphysical impossibles, might as well do it in style.

Why was Batman dumbed down? Batman is supposed to be an intellectual Superhero, not just a thug busting ninja. The movie completely overlooked the fact that he was supposed to be a master detective. He is also supposed to be a scientist as well - he shouldn't need Morgan Freeman to whip up an antidote - he should have been able to do it himself.

Bear in mind that at the time Bruce is barely into his 20's. He has little experience fighting crime or fostering a scientific mind. All of this comes with time and experience. What the movie did portray was the young Bruce's knack for stumping crime (when he caught Falcone) and his knack for science (by taking after and admiring Freeman's character.)

I liked the ninja angle personally. If you were going to fight 20 men all armed with guns, there is only so far a batarange will go. I didn't consider that dumped down at all. It displayed his sheer skill in the arts of his trade; to take on a larger and better armed group of men with nothing but your fists, and not taking a scratch.

The Batmobile was, while functional, not aesthetically pleasing and was quite an eyesore. I guess when you have to take on the entire police force you need more power.

I liked the hummer look, myself. Besides, who's to say that isn't an early model of the batmobile, which needs the large chassis for all of the car's gizmos, thus his later luxury car batmobiles are more sophisticated models with miniaturized technology?

Bruce Wayne was never that uninvolved with his company, and neither was his father. He was always the CEO of Wayne Enterprises in the comics, and again, would not have to give control to Morgan Freeman.

again I reiterate, he is in his early 20's. The only formal education we have seen so far in Bruce Wayne consists of fighting ninjas. Running a multi-billion dollar corporation is not something a 20-something year old can take on as a second job. But we do see Bruce's knack for business savvy by buying the majority Wayne Enterprise stock. He will just need time to finesse himself into the responsibility of running a large corporation like that, and while Bruce is doing that, Freeman is the guy Bruce sets up to run the business in his stead.

Ra's Al Ghul was completely mis-represented in the movie - all they did was keep the name. His attractive daughter (a legitimate Batman love interest) did not make a cameo either. I am pretty sure that Batman was never trained by the League of Shadows or Al Ghul, although it has been a while.

honestly, I don't know much about them, because I have taken a several year hiatus from reading comic books. I may get back into them when I have the spare time and money, but as of now I don't have the resources to do so, so no comment from me on that issue.

I gave it an A+. After the last two disapointments of a lifetime (Batman Forever and Batman and Robin) it is great to see a Batman movie with a great sense of style and a fantastic philosophical edge.

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speaking of the suit, am I the only person who was wholly relieved that the batsuit didn't have nipples? that drove me up the wall in the last two blasphemies that called themselves Batman movies.

Yes, thank goodness they got rid of the nipples! In fact, I thought the new suit was elegant and streamlined compared to the old ones.

The new cape is awesome, as well.

Rational Cop: I can see your point about the fight scenes, but I have problems with viewing flashing lights in a dark room (some weird thing to do with my eyes, I don't know what it is) so they gave me a vicious headache.

I also enjoyed the fact that they brought Arkham into the picture.

Keaton was 2nd best Batman, though. Tossup between George Clooney and Val Kilmer for the worst . . . I like Val Kilmer (Tombstone!) but he's NOT Batman. Given, neither is George Clooney.

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I saw Batman Begins over the weekend and I liked it. I also played the Video Game tie in for X-box before I saw the movie. I liked the way the two tied in because in the video game you are essentially doing what Batman does off camera. Sneaking around instilling fear in the criminals until they are so scared you can fight them. Notice in the movie that the only time he took on lots of guys they were so scared they could barely fight back.

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I left OPAR, etc... at home when I went to see this movie. I simply wanted to watch a movie and not pick every last syllable apart. I wanted to be entertained, and boy did this movie excede my expectations: I thoroughly enjoyed every second. There was no filler in this movie--every scene had a purpose that kept the movie wonderfully paced, but always building to the final climax. Finally, Batman has been done justice on the silver screen. No nipples on the batsuit, an excellent portrayal of Wayne's rise to the Dark Knight, Michael Caine being a perfect fit for Alfred, and there was the right balance of CGI and live action. I'm incredibly content with the way it turned out and how it will bridge into the follow-up, and in particular, that it moved away from the first three films. To the person who asked about Gordon, he rose in rank in this movie, and we'll most definitely see him rise to commissioner in later movies. I wonder if we'll ever see Azrael on the big screen.....hmmm....

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  • 11 months later...
No nipples on the batsuit, an excellent portrayal of Wayne's rise to the Dark Knight, Michael Caine being a perfect fit for Alfred, and there was the right balance of CGI and live action. I'm incredibly content with the way it turned out and how it will bridge into the follow-up, and in particular, that it moved away from the first three films. To the person who asked about Gordon, he rose in rank in this movie, and we'll most definitely see him rise to commissioner in later movies. I wonder if we'll ever see Azrael on the big screen.....hmmm....

I agree completely. Nevermind Azrael, though, how about this - The Roc as Bane? :lol:

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Sorry for the necro-post, but I just joined and I wanted to respond to this:

The heel transmiter Batman had in his boot was ridiculous - it summoned hundreds of bats to swarm the police, where did they come from? - totally unrealistic.

For someone so concerned with the comics, you seem to be very unfamiliar with much of what has been done with Batman in graphic novels. You must be a new fan. Frank Miller originated the idea of the bat transmitter in his "Batman - Year One." The writers of the movie were clearly influenced a great deal by Miller. Aside from that, in both the movie and in other comics, hundreds of bats terrified the young Bruce Wayne when he first fell into the cave, so they obviously lived there. Batman would have had ample opportunity to test out such a device in the seclusion of the cave. Bats, as you must know, have an acute sense of hearing, so it is not beyond the realm of possibility that such a device would reach as far as the cave from the city. Besides, it's a really cool scene.

Why was Batman dumbed down? Batman is supposed to be an intellectual Superhero, not just a thug busting ninja. The movie completely overlooked the fact that he was supposed to be a master detective. He is also supposed to be a scientist as well - he shouldn't need Morgan Freeman to whip up an antidote - he should have been able to do it himself.

Uhh, no, the movie does not overlook this fact. There's a reason it's called "Batman BEGINS." Again, refer to the work of Frank Miller, especially "Year One." It's a learning process, he's just starting out. He's not yet the master detective you know and love. That's the whole flipping point. If I recall correctly, Morgan Freeman's character is Lucius Fox, who is in the comic books. There is also a mechanic in the comics who works on the vehicles and Batman's other gear, and it is implied that Batman/Bruce Wayne learned a lot from both of these characters. The movie combined the two characters for convenience.

In "Year One," Bruce returns to the mansion from training against criminals before he becomes Batman, fatally wounded. He sits slumped in a chair in his father's study, bleeding out, ready to give up and die before he has begun. Suddenly a giant bat crashes through the window. Bruce says, "Yes father, I shall become a bat," and rings a bell to summon Alfred. The point is, he's making it up as he goes. In the comics you seem to be familiar with, Batman is an established character. He's been doing this for years. In Miller's story and in this movie, he doesn't know what he's doing yet.

Bruce Wayne was never that uninvolved with his company, and neither was his father. He was always the CEO of Wayne Enterprises in the comics, and again, would not have to give control to Morgan Freeman.

What comics have you been reading? In comics continuity Batman trained abroad since his parents' death until he took up the mantle of the Bat, so obviously someone else would have had to have been running his company. In the comics, Lucius Fox always ran the company when Bruce Wayne was away. Ever hear of a little something called the Justice League? Batman was away quite often. I thought the movie put a nice twist on this, with the whole hostile takeover subplot.

Ra's Al Ghul was completely mis-represented in the movie - all they did was keep the name. His attractive daughter (a legitimate Batman love interest) did not make a cameo either. I am pretty sure that Batman was never trained by the League of Shadows or Al Ghul, although it has been a while.

Bruce Wayne trained primarily in Asia. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that he came across Ra's and the League of Shadows during this time. I may be mistaken, but even in the cartoon that you mention you watch, Bruce knows who Ra's is the first time he encounters him as Batman. I'll grant the movie Ra's is vastly different - which one you like more is merely opinion. I agree that Talia would have made a nice addition.

Overall I would say this was an average film, but dissapointed the Batman fan in me.

Maybe if you were more familiar with some of the non-mainstream graphic novels, you would have appreciated the movie more. If you haven't read Miller's "Year One," go out and buy it immediately. It is without a doubt the best Batman graphic novel ever written. All of Miller's other Bat-titles are also excellent. Also very well done is "Arkham - A serious house on serious Earth," (I think that's the title) by Grant Morrison. Some wicked psychological insights to the Batman, Joker, Two-Face, and others.

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Ragnar -

It's funny - almost a year after I posted on this thread, I've rewatched Begins a few more times, and I actually agree with most of your points. I still don't like Bale as Batman though - although I can "tolerate" him a little better now. Rachel Dawes is still one of the most useless characters ever invented - I can't believe they took out Talia for her. Still, I've revised my views on the movie - a lot. I'm actually going to pick up "Year One" this weekend - I've been very busy lately, but I'm graduating Monday, so I should have some quality reading time opening up quite soon. You're right - I'm a new fan. But as time allows I plan on reading more. Thanks for necro-bumping this old thread - it's interesting to look back at old posts to see how my thinking has changed.

- Dave

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