Sunday, July 20, 2008

Holy Cinematography, Batman!

"What kind of world is it that we live in when we are so blessed with choice that it has become impossible to determine the best comic book superhero movie?"-Andy

The above quote couldn't be more true. Batman Begins is squarely in the top five comic book movies of all time, and the sequel was even better. Frankly, I'm more excited to see the Hellboy sequel, but with all the Batman hype, I figured I'd make it a go first.

I'll start with the bad, sure it was a freakin' amazing movie, but it did have a few hiccups. First off was Batman himself, and Bale is usually a great actor, but he was a bit one-dimensional. I know, it's Batman, there's either a lot of depth or none at all, I would've preferred some depth though. Also, I know Batman is all about the gadgets, but they were a little sparse and mostly relied just on combat, like his spring-loaded arm blades, which were kinda dorky. Also, the overall movie was a tad long, and was already good without the Harvey Dent / Two-Face sub-story, they could've dropped it altogether. Or, better yet, put in Harvey Dent, even lead up to his accident, but don't introduce the Two-Face character until the next movie. But, whatever, just hiccups to an otherwise amazing movie, and the Dent character/performance was good, speaking of characters...

A lot of hype was built up over Ledger's performance, his last performance as it turns out, but it wasn't wholly unfounded. He was good, in fact very good. To say his Joker was the best isn't fair; but he added some grit, depth, and surprising creepy realism to the character. He pretty much stole the show. Of course Michael Kane is good in anything he does, but Alfred's a small (yet poignant) role, same with Freeman and his character. Then there's Gary Oldman, who is one of my favorites, and as expected, he was 100% spot-on. At the end of the day, character-wise, the film was solid.

You can't have a summer blockbuster, superhero-comic book movie without fisticuffs and explosions, and there it didn't disappoint either. I said Bale's acting was a tad flat, but his bone-crunching Batman punches were not. In the suit he was on fire. Batman wasn't invulnerable either; he took as good as he gave, making for one refreshingly weary and beat-up Batman by the end. I do long for the Dark Knight of the original Frank Miller title, and there were a lot of hints/homages dropped in the movie that showed where we're headed; all good things come to those that wait...

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