Monday, June 20, 2005

'Batman Begins' ...

Went to see it today.

Typically, I try to avoid press about a movie I want to see. I don't want my experience colored by reviews. But it was damn near impossible to avoid the hype for this film. Ebert gave it four stars. Dean Richards, a local guy, gave it an A+. For all the gushing, you'd think that everyone involved in this film had a hand in reinventing cinema.

(I was happy to discover, on iTunes, that Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard scored the movie together. Two of my favorite composers on one film? I'm in soundtrack heaven.)

So I went to see it today.

And you know what?

It's a Batman movie.

The acting is fine. The casting is good. The effects are cool. The cinematography is downright spectacular in a few shots. Lower Wacker Drive in Chicago was used to good effect.

But it's a Batman movie.

Liam Neeson is good, but then, I'm a sucker for anything Liam Neeson does. Christian Bale is good. Michael Caine is good, but he's Michael Frickin' Caine. Of course he's good. Tom Wilkinson, good. Katie Holmes, she's fine. Rutger Hauer, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, fine, fine, fine.

But it's a Batman movie.

Yes, the Batmobile is cool. Yes, Gotham/Chicago looks moody and foreboding. But the mask that one of the bad guys uses is a burlap sack. And, um, last time I checked, stone buildings don't crumble in a fire.

Don't get me wrong. It's a summer flick. See it on a big screen with a really good sound system and you'll have fun.

But it's a Batman movie.


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